Can You Really Get My Criminal Case Dismissed?

Can You Really Get My Criminal Case Dismissed?

The best criminal case is often the one that never goes to trial. One of the first things your defense attorney should look at is whether there is a chance the case may be dismissed.

It’s not possible in all cases. But it can happen. Here are the different grounds an attorney can use to get charges dropped.

Establishing an Alibi

Everyone’s heard of alibis; they’re a popular staple in fiction. If the crime was committed in Queens at 3 AM and you were in Jersey at that time, then there’s no way you could be the culprit.

A defendant will need solid evidence of the alibi. Some of this evidence could include:

  • Time cards, indicating you were at work during the incident.
  • Receipts, indicating you were at an ATM, restaurant, or store on a certain date and time.
  • Eye witnesses who can corroborate that you were indeed where you say you were.
  • Video, especially time stamped video, that documents your presence at another location. This is, of course, some of the strongest evidence you can produce.

Proving an alibi isn’t always easy. The prosecutor may question the credibility of the alibi evidence, that the alibi isn’t for the right date or time, or that there was time for the defendant to get from one location to the other in order to commit the crime. However,  if none of these arguments hold water, the case may very well be headed towards a dismissal.

Offering Other Pieces of Exculpatory Evidence

In addition to alibi evidence, there are other types of evidence that can assist your attorney in securing a dismissal.  While the exact nature of this evidence may vary, any piece of evidence that tends to show either a crime didn’t happen or that there was a non-criminal reason for the defendant’s acts (such as self-defense) is helpful.

If you believe you have any evidence that might be considered  exculpatory, or think this evidence exists, it’s important to discuss it with your attorney. Keep in mind exculpatory evidence alone does not necessarily lead to dropped charges, but it’s certainly an avenue to explore.  See also: Falsely Accused? Know Your Options.

The Police Have Made Mistakes

Sometimes police conduct illegal searches and seizures in order to acquire evidence.  Or they engage in the practice of entrapment. Or they make any number of other mistakes which render their evidence inadmissible.

If any of the above occurs, and a Judge determines that such evidence should be thrown out, it may result in a dismissal of the charges.

There Aren’t Enough Facts to Convict

When you are charged with a crime, the prosecution must lay down alleged facts which provide reasonable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that  you were the person that engaged in the crime.

A careful examination of the complaint can help determine whether the prosecution’s facts are too thin to make their case. These facts can be challenged as insufficient to move forward with prosecuting the crime.

When the Prosecution Waits Too Long

Different crimes create different windows of time. But you have the right to a speedy trial. If the prosecution waits too long to move forward it’s sometimes possible to get charges dismissed on these grounds alone.

  • The prosecution must be ready for a felony trial within 6 months.
  • For a class A misdemeanor, they must be ready within  90 days.
  • For a class B misdemeanor, they  must be ready within 60 days.
  • For a violation that could be punished with 15 days of jail time, they must be ready within  30 days.

It would be nice if it was simple as the list above, but there are many ways the prosecution can extend the limit. A dismissal due to a failure to conduct the trial fast enough is more likely in a misdemeanor or violation case than it would be for a felony case. The time constraints are not applicable, however, in a murder case.

You Successfully Testify Before a Grand Jury

If you are charged with a felony,  in order for the prosecutor to go forward with their case, they must present the case to a Grand Jury for an indictment. An indictment formalizes the charges against you.

While it’s sometimes a bad idea to testify in a trial proceeding on your own behalf, there are occasions when it can be a good idea to testify before the Grand Jury. The decision to testify should only be done with guidance from your lawyer. There are a lot of pitfalls. Your defense lawyer can help you prepare for them.

When the Charges Can’t Be Dismissed

Sometimes there’s just no way to get charges dismissed. When this happens, your defense attorney will have to turn to other strategies to try to either reduce the charges or win at trial.

Have you been charged with a crime? Get the vigorous, personalized defense a public. Contact the Law Offices of Julie Rendleman, LLC, today.