He Said, She Said: Can I Really Be Arrested For That?

August 25, 2010

People often say to me that, “it is my word against theirs. Can they arrest me for that?” Well the short answer is yes they can. For the police to make an arrest, they only need probable cause. Probable cause is defined as a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime. That’s it. And probable cause can be supported by the mere testimony of one person.

However once an arrest is made, a prosecutor will then get involved and decide weather to file a formal charge either by information or indictment in the state of Florida. According to the rules regulating members of the Florida Bar, a prosecutor has the responsibility to do what is just. He is not simply an advocate. Therefore, the prosecutor will review the facts of the case and will decide whether to file a charge if there is a reasonable likelihood of a successful prosecution. What does that mean? The prosecutor ultimately must ask themselves, if they file this charge will they be able to obtain a guilty verdict if they go to trial. Will they be able to ultimately prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt which is the highest burden of proof in our legal justice system. The prosecutor must evaluate each case and determine if there is sufficient evidence. Sometimes the prosecutor will file a charge based on one witness’s testimony; if they believe that person is credible and what they are saying is credible. It happens. That is why you should take any arrest seriously. Even if you think it is just a he said, she said situation.

On the other hand, while the case is being evaluated by the prosecutor; your CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY may have a window of opportunity to point out weaknesses or deficiencies in the prosecutor’s case before the formal charge is filed. Your attorney may be able to highlight weakness or deficiencies which if the case were present to a jury would create a reasonable doubt. Your attorney may be able to show that this lone witness may have some bias or interest in the outcome of the case; or that there is contradictory evidence or witness testimony that the prosecutor does not know about?


People are frequently arrested and charged with crimes for he said, she said offenses. You should take any criminal arrest seriously and take appropriate measures to protect your rights, interests, and liberties.

Please call CLEARWATER DEFENSE ATTORNEY Joseph Montrone, Jr. for a free consultation.

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