Philadelphia, PA asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania

Q: If my accusor passed away earlier this month will my case be thrown out?

I was accused of forgery from a woman that I was doing landscaping for, she recently passed away and I received a plea agreement from the state, I have not accepted it, as most officers have told me that the case will be thrown out. What are my next steps from here, will this case be thrown out?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Norristown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Likely, but not necessarily. If she gave a statement to the police or District Attorney's Office before her death, there may be a way they can get that statement into evidence in a trial against you (as well as hearsay from her before her death as told to police officers, etc.). So you're not 100% in the clear, unfortunately . . .

If you don't have one already, get yourself a good criminal defense attorney to advocate for a dismissal. Best of luck to you.

Mr. Ryan L Hyde agrees with this answer

Mr. Ryan L Hyde
Mr. Ryan L Hyde
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Exton , PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Most "officers"? Hopefully, you have an attorney working with you. As Mr. Hall noted the complainant being deceased doesnt necessarily end the case. There are a number of ways to prove it without her. If you have gone through discovery with your attorney you should know what other evidence they have and what chance they have of succeeding without it.

A lot of this depends on the Commonwealth. If they think they are going to lose they often wont want to go through the expense of a trial. But, believe it or not, they have some pretty good attorneys on their side to. Make sure you have these conversations with your attorney.

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