Can Greensboro criminal defense lawyers explain when a district attorney may be taken off a case? Yes!
Although it may not happen often, there are specific instances when a district attorney may be taken off of a case. District attorneys are both constitutionally and statutorily bound to prosecute crimes committed within their district. Because of this, courts err on the side of caution when deciding to take a district attorney off a case. They are seen as constitutional officers, and the court does not want to interfere with the district attorney’s execution of their duties. If you are concerned with whether a district attorney should be prosecuting your case, you should contact a Greensboro defense attorney today for more information!
North Carolina courts have repeatedly ruled that there must be an actual conflict of interest for a prosecutor to be disqualified from trying a case. So, what is an actual conflict? The courts have said that an actual conflict exists when: (1) A district attorney, or member of their staff, has previously represented the defendant, and (2) because of that past relationship, the prosecutor gained information that could be used to the detriment of the defendant. These specific elements almost always have to be met in order for a district attorney to be taken off a case. For example, it is not enough that a district attorney or staff member worked at another law firm that has represented the defendant in the past. They must have actually represented the defendant themselves, and because they represented the defendant they must have obtained information that will hurt the defendant at trial.
If you think that these elements may apply to your case, you should not hesitate to contact a Greensboro criminal defense attorney today. The criminal defense attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth and Olson, a firm founded by former prosecutors now defense attorneys, know the requirements of the law, and also genuinely care about each and every case presented by their clients.