I Was Arrested for One Crime at Bonnaroo, but Charged with Another. Can They Do that?As you know, Bonnaroo is a popular music festival. It’s also a “popular” place for local police to make a lot of arrests. But what happens if you’re arrested for one crime, but then charged with multiple crimes. Can the cops even do that?

Yes, they can. It happens more often than you think. More often than not a subject will be arrested, charged with one crime, and then be hit with additional or more serious charges after the arrest. It all comes down to the arresting officer and the district attorney where you were arrested. Let’s take a look at how charges can be changed after an arrest at Bonnaroo (or anywhere else).

The arrest and subsequent charges

If you are stopped by a police officer either on foot or in your vehicle and the officer determines you have broken a law that results in arrest, you will be charged with a crime. The charge levied against you by the officer might not stick. It also might not be the only charge you face. Just know that the prosecutor assigned to your case must file charges within 72 hours because of your right to a speedy trial.

The law does not bind the prosecutor to the initial charges stamped against you. In fact, the prosecutor can add charges against you or increase the severity of the ones you are already facing once more evidence becomes available in the case. The prosecutor will speak with the arresting officer to determine if additional charges should be filed. The prosecutor might also speak to witnesses of the crime to figure out what, if any, charges should be added prior to your arraignment.

You will likely learn of the new charges once arraignment happens. Arraignment is when the charges levied against you are brought to your attention by the court and you enter a plea to those charges.

Charges from officers are recommendations

What you need to understand in a situation like this is that the charges levied against you by a police officer are just recommendations. The prosecutor does not have to accept the charges recommended by the officer and can instead levy his or her own charges. The prosecutor could decide there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute the current charges and could either reduce them or drop them altogether. On the other hand, the prosecutor could determine that the charges are not serious enough based on the evidence present and add more charges.

Were you arrested at Bonnaroo this year? You’re going to need a criminal defense lawyer you can trust. Call the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler today at 615-977-9370 to schedule an appointment at your convenience. You can also complete the contact form found on our website and a member of our firm will reach out to you in a timely fashion. We proudly serve clients in Franklin, Columbia, Brentwood and the surrounding areas.