The Nelson Law Group

Unveiling the Tactics of Charge Stacking: A Defendant’s Guide 

By Pierce Blitch

In the realm of criminal law, negotiations often sway cases more than courtroom dramas. Plea agreements settle the vast majority of criminal cases, with about 98% of federal cases following suit, and state courts are no different. Yet, beneath the surface of these seemingly reasonable agreements lies a tactic that can tilt the scales heavily in favor of the prosecution: charge stacking.

Piling up the Charges: Understanding the Strategy

Charge stacking, a prosecutorial maneuver, involves piling multiple charges onto a defendant for a single incident or crime, inflating the perceived severity of the offense.

The tactic is simple but effective: by increasing the number of charges, prosecutors intensify the potential consequences. Facing a barrage of allegations, defendants may feel coerced into accepting unfavorable plea deals out of fear of the consequences if convicted on all counts.

An Example to Apply the Concept

Consider this scenario: you’re pulled over for a minor driving infraction, but things escalate, leading to an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs. During a subsequent search, the police find a pipe and rolling papers on your person.

Now, in a case of charge stacking, the prosecution might tack on charges for drugged driving, possession of drugs (even if only residue is found on the pipe), and possession of drug paraphernalia for each item seized.

Facing Stacked Charges: Understanding your Options

If you find yourself confronted with stacked charges—be it for a drug-related offense or another crime— stay calm. Seeking guidance from seasoned legal professionals is your best course of action.

An experienced attorney can help you decipher the charges against you and strategize your defense, ensuring that you’re not coerced into accepting an unfavorable plea deal under the weight of inflated allegations.

Empowering Defendants Through Legal Insight

In the face of charge stacking, knowledge is power. By understanding the tactics employed by prosecutors, defendants can take proactive steps to safeguard their rights and pursue fair outcomes in their cases.

Remember, you’re not alone in this legal battle. With the right legal team by your side, you can navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system with confidence and resilience.


We fight for you, and we don’t back down. Every criminal charge holds potentially life-altering consequences. We don’t hold back on providing our clients the best possible criminal defense available.  Nearly all the attorneys at The Nelson Law Group are former Assistant District Attorneys, so our unique insight on how the prosecution approaches cases equips us with the ability to see the case from all sides. If you, a family member, or a close friend faces criminal charges, contact The Nelson Law Group today at 706-434-8770 or visit us at 7004 Evans Town Center Blvd., Third Floor, Evans, Georgia 30809 to discuss your unique case and our creative defense strategies with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys

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Categories: Criminal Defense