Can a police officer change a misdemeanor to felony charge?

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Can a police officer change a misdemeanor to felony charge?

I got a ticket and it’s going to be a misdemeanor charge for a felony crime and the officer told me if I fight it, he’s going to have it changed to a felony. Can he do this? I had a butterfly and when he ask me if I had any weapons I pleaded the 5th and when he wanted to search me I pleaded the 4th. He told me were not in court so he searched me and let me going saying that he put me as arrested and released. Should I fight it?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

Russ Pietryga / Pietryga Law Office

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In Utah, as with most states, a police officer gathers the information and submits it to the prosecutors to be screened.

In short, the prosecuting attorney decides what crimes to charge. For instance, a peace officer can issue a citation, for a crime, that is later dismissed by the prosecuting attorney.

So what happens to the charge is up to the prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney may consult with the officer in determining a plea, but he does not have to.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you had been arrested for a felony you would have been taken into custody and not released with a ticket by the police officer. I would carefully read the ticket that you were given to confirm that you were issued a misdemeanor.

I would also consult with a criminal defense attorney about the situation concerning your arrest and whether or not a motion to supress the illegal weapon that you had on your possession is warranted. It is up to the district attorney's office who will be filing a complaint against you to change the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony.


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