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If the thief gives the property back, can I drop the charges?

When someone is the victim of a property crime, their first idea is that they just want their stuff back. Once charges are filed, they often have the idea to barter their stuff to drop the charges, and they may even offer to drop them in exchange for their stuff. But is that even possible in Marietta, Georgia?

If stolen items are returned, can the owner drop property theft charges?

No. While you may have seen something similar to this play out on TV or in a movie, this is not reality. The property owner has no power to drop criminal charges once they are filed. The only person who has the power to do so is the assigned Marietta, Georgia, prosecuting attorney, or if it is a federal crime, the assigned Assistant United States Attorney. These attorneys and their supervisors are the only people who can drop the charges, not the alleged victims.

Does the alleged victim have any power?

Yes. If the alleged victim does not agree with the charges or some other aspect of the Marietta, Georgia, prosecution, they retain their own attorney and let them know. Through their attorney, they can work with the defense to help mitigate the prosecution. They can even work with the defense to help persuade the prosecution to lessen the charges or even drop the charges. However, ultimately, that decision is up to the prosecutor.

What is the takeaway?

For our Marietta, Georgia, readers facing theft and property crimes throughout the state, the takeaway is to collaborate with your attorney. Do not reach out to any alleged victims directly. It can only hurt your case. Remember, witness tampering can be a separately charged crime, as can other interference crimes. However, your attorney can work to get your charges lessened, dropped or, if needed, fight for your innocence in court.