1. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2015
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    Is their a way I can make this idea work in the modern American legal system?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, May 30, 2016.

    For my story, it's a thriller, and in the first act, the villain gets away with a crime, because of lack of evidence so support going to trial.

    What happens is, is that a cop on patrol, gets a glimpse of some suspicious activity, he decides to watch, such as two guys search another guy for weapons or a wire, or doing that type of search. The cop decides to follow them very discretely in his unmarked car, not to far, to a secluded location near by. He cannot identify faces from his distance, but he sees they meet up with more men wearing masks and gloves.

    It's a 'blood in', which is a term for when a gang gets a new member they are recruiting to spill the blood of another person in order to see if that person can be relied upon to be a fellow member. In this case, they give the new member, a pistol with one bullet in it to do the job.

    As the cop observes, he sees that an innocent kidnapped hostage is about to be likely harmed, so he intervenes, saves the kidnap victim, and manages to arrest one of the suspects, while the others get away in the process.

    Unbeknownst to the cop though, the hostage, was actually a fellow gang member posing a hostage, as part of the blood in. The new member did not have to actually shoot the hostage. The pistol with one bullet in, was loaded with a dummy round (a round that is real on the outside, but will not fire). The reason the gang did this, was in case the new recruit may not have been an undercover cop or something, they did not want to be caught with a real kidnapped hostage, and can create deniability of a crime, should the blood in be a set up.

    So when the cop, arrests one of them, and saves the hostage, the hostage then makes up the story, that she and the arrested suspect are actually friends, and they were playing a role playing game with a prop gun.

    They say that they went out drinking the night before, met the others, and then brought them back to her property for the game with the gun prop. The police ask her who the other's are and why they ran, and she says that since she met them and brought them back after a night of drinking, she didn't get their names, and just brought them back to play. Why they ran, she doesn't know and assumes they must be wanted for something else, she says.

    She also reports a complaint towards the cop who rescued her, saying that he threatened her into testifying against her arrested friend, or he will make things bad for her in the future. Even though it's her word against the cops, she still wanted to complain anyway, just to save face to help her look innocent.

    So there is not enough evidence to charge her or the other suspect, with any crimes, since it was just role playing with a prop gun, on her property, and there is no crime, and no victim of a crime.

    So the police let them go.

    However, I was told in my research by some legal experts that this case would still go to trial, and that the defendant and the witness on his side, would have to beat the charges there, instead of prior to.

    Is it possible to write this type of criminal case, and have the defendant get off without going to trial? Trials can take 1-2 years before they actually start, and I have other subplots that want to take plac,e that would not take that long logically, to work their way into the main plot. So subplots would have be drawn out for illogically and unexplained amounts of time, if I put the main plot on hold for a year of time or more.

    Is their a way I can either, have the defendant be dismissed of charges long before trial, or somehow legally get the trial to start a lot sooner? I read that the defendant can legally waive his right to a deposition or preliminary hearing, and go straight to trial. But if this is true, does that mean he could go to trial in a few weeks after arrest, realistically? Plus does this defendant character even have motive for skipping over a preliminary hearing?

    What do you think? Is their a way I can write it and make it work within a much shorter time frame?
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
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    California, US
    Just have the prosecutor decide not to pursue it. They have a heavy case load and this isn't a great case for them.
  3. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

    May 11, 2013
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    Virginia, United States
    Look, nearly every question you post lacks and right or wrong answer. Yay reading what you put, I thought, "Yeah, that sounds believable. No crime was committed so no trial."

    You're literally always going to have one person who disagrees with how you do things. But if you keep worrying so much about that, you'll never get anything done. You'll never write the story/screenplay. And if you do, it won't be what YOU wanted, but what someone else told you to do.

    What you laid out seems fine to me. Stop asking people for help with every decision you need to make or you'll never get anywhere.
    Sapphire at Dawn likes this.

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