Why Would Criminal Charges Be Dropped or Dismissed?

terri-october-week-3-img-defense-attorney-840062_1920 If you’ve been charged with a crime, all you want is for the whole thing to go away, and the truth is that there’s a real possibility that can happen. Not only is there a good chance of being found guilty at trial, but in many instances criminal charges are dropped or dismissed long before a case gets to that point. Though your primary focus is on getting back to normal and moving on without a criminal record, it is always helpful to understand the different things that can happen in a case. The more you know, the more you will be able to assist your criminal defense attorney and the more control you will feel that you have in the process. At Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law, we believe that an informed client can play an important role in their own defense. For more information on how we can help, contact us today.

There are a number of different reasons why criminal charges may be dropped or dismissed, but first you need to know the difference between the two, and when each happens.  Criminal charges are filed by a prosecutor because they believe that they can prove their case, but the judge or jury may not agree with them. They need to gather and present evidence that is strong enough to convince others that they are correct. If at any point along the way – even before the criminal charges have officially been filed – the prosecutor determines that there is not enough basis for the charge to hold up or that they were not correct, they can drop the charges. Only the prosecutor or the arresting officer is able to drop charges. By contrast, having charges against a person dismissed is something that can be done by either the prosecutor or a judge, but it can only be done after the case has already been filed. A dismissal is usually based upon insufficient evidence for the case to continue.

There are a number of reasons for charges to be dropped in a criminal case. Though some people believe that charges can be dropped at the request of the victim, that is not the case. Only the prosecutor’s office can make that decision. That being said, when the victim no longer is willing to cooperate it becomes much more difficult for a prosecutor to prove their case, and they may opt for dropping the charges. Other reasons for dropping charges may include insufficient evidence, new evidence or testimony that contradicts the original arrest information, evidence being deemed inadmissible, and evidence that the defendant’s constitutional rights have been violated.

If any of these reasons are present there is a very good chance that criminal charges against a defendant will be dropped, and it is the job of a defense attorney to look for these reasons and present them to both the prosecutor and the court. If you have been charged with committing a crime, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who knows how to leverage the information available to prove that the charges should be dropped. Call Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law to discuss your case and see how we can help.