Legal Question in Criminal Law in Washington

I have to go to court on false charges. If someone calls the police and tells a lie about you is that all is takes to be tried in criminal court? Shouldn't the police have to investigate first, have some kind of of evidence? not just one persons lie over the phone to try you in court?

Asked on 10/18/13, 7:47 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Stan Glisson Glisson & Morris

That is a great question. The short answer is it does not take much to get charged. If a witness makes a report, and the investigator finds it credible, he or she can recommend criminal charges. In most jurisdictions, the officer declares there is probable cause to believe the crime was committed. Basically, more likely than not.

Once the officer has done that, a prosecutor reviews the report. If they view the witness' statement the same, then they may decide again there is probable cause for a charge to be filed. Finally, a judge has to review it and find probable cause. The threshold for PC is not terribly high, and hearsay may be considered in that determination.

The good new is that the standard of proof is much higher at trial, Talk to a good lawyer.

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Answered on 10/18/13, 10:00 am

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