Pittsburgh, PA asked in Public Benefits and Criminal Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Do the DA have a case if the evidence the state trooper sworn to and signed was a lie

The state trooper signed aand sworn to a affidavit on June 3 2016 for a crime committed around 09/2015. In this affidavit it states he turned in crack cocain into evidence but the charge is for heroin... I was arrested 08/12/2016 and on 08/25/2016 I told my public defender about it and he without my knowledge or permission told the DA and had it changed to heroin on 08/25/2016... Need help

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ryan L Hyde
Ryan L Hyde
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Exton , PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: I will preface this by saying a mistake is different from a lie. Only because I am not sure what happened with your case. The Commonwealth has the legal right to amend the charges up to the time where the jury is sworn in a matter. Your remedy would be a continuance. The fact that this was changed does not mean that you do not have a defense based on the officers mistake. The complaint is a useless document what matters to you is what is in discovery. In your position, represented by counsel, you need to voice your concerns to your public defender about what he/she did. If you do not receive an adequate response you can attempt to retain private counsel. Remember, just because they fixed it, doesnt mean a mistake wasnt made and that is something that can be brought before the trier of fact. I will say this, a mistake in a document has never been cause for them to dismiss a case. It has, however, been ground for a trier of fact to acquit. Have a conversation with your PD and make sure your interests are being fairly represented. If not, you can always retain separate counsel to represent you.

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