Prosecutorial Discretion

Prosecutorial discretion is the authority of an agency or officer to decide what charges to bring and how to pursue each case.  A government attorney who declines to pursue a case against a person has favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion.

A range of factors can lead to a decision to favorably exercise prosecutorial discretion. Some of the factors include

  • The person’s pursuit of education in the United States
  • The circumstances of the person’s arrival in the United States
  • The person’s length of presence in the United States
  • Whether the person or any immediate relative has served in the armed forces
  • The person’s ties and contributions to the community
  • Whether the person has a United States citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, or parent
  • The person’s ties to his or her home country
  • Whether the person is likely to be granted some sort of temporary or permanent relief from removal

Alternatively, if you can demonstrate that you qualify for a type of legal status, government counsel may decide to favorably exercise prosecutorial discretion in your deportation case. Some of the avenues to legal status include: