Words Alone

My husband was arrested for robbing a woman in broad day light on 4th st off jewelers row for her jewelry. Mind you this happened last January, no accurate day and time. How is it legal to just assume this is the person who committed the crime without investigating first? My husband is currently incarcerated.

In Pennsylvania mere words alone are enough for an arrest. A huge distinction exists between an arrest and a conviction. Obviously, a convictions stays with you forever. The only way to overcome a “words alone” case is to fight it. Juries hate words alone cases and so do District Attorneys.

Remember, the District Attorney has to prove more then you probably did something wrong, they have to prove that you committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Jurors take that seriously. When the DA doesn’t make out their case, juries acquit people.

Two sad commentaries exist as a result of the “words alone” practice by the prosecutor. First, if it is a serious crime, the bail in the case can often be set too high for the defendant to be able to afford it and therefore, the defendant may remain in jail for a very long time awaiting trial. Second, we most often see this type of prosecution in cases involving sex or rape. I personally have handled many juries where the accusation is rape or sexual assault and there is no semen or dna. Not that robbery isn’t serious, but rape is obviously a more serious charge.

Good Question.

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