If I was charged with petty theft, then when I rejected their plea my charges were changed to felony conspiracy and felony grand theft, is it legal? 3 Answers as of June 05, 2017

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Law Office of Edward J. Blum
Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
It's grounds for a vindictive prosecution motion.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2017
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
There is a concept called vindictive prosecution which occurs when the prosecutor files more serious or new charges after the exercise of a constitutional right like going to jury trial. It usually occurs after there is a mistrial or hung jury and the prosecutor realizes he or she may have undercharged the case. A challenge to such a new or greater charge is usually unsuccessful in the plea bargaining context where one has merely rejected a previous plea bargain. If a person has foregone some other right in addition to rejecting a deal however there may the basis for a motion to dismiss the new charge. As always I recommend you consult an experience certified criminal law specialist to advise you further.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2017
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
As long as they can prove it, the prosecutor can amend the charges before trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/5/2017
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