Being charged with a crime can be scary and intimidating. A criminal conviction can ruin your best forever life by leading to jail time, hefty fines, or even threatening your job. A criminal record can also prevent you from obtaining a loan, renting a home, owning a firearm, and getting approval for occupational licenses.
Fortunately, not every defendant who faces criminal charges proceeds to a plea or trial. Some criminal cases are dismissed or dropped by the jury or the prosecutor. Here are some ways to get a criminal case dismissed.
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1. Show violations of your constitutional rights
Unless they break the law or have evidence that would lead them to legitimately suspect a crime is committed, a police officer isn’t allowed to randomly stop your car. They can only stop and search your vehicle if they have a warrant or under particular conditions. The same laws apply to your home and other personal properties.
If a search violated your constitutional rights, the jury could exclude the charges from using any weapons, drugs, or other evidence obtained in the illegal search. Criminal defense lawyers such as those at Purser Law could help you make a case that the charge should be dismissed by pointing out these violations to the prosecutor.
2. Present exculpatory evidence
A prosecutor cannot pursue charges against you if they aren’t sure whether you committed the charged crime or not. To win a case, they must prove you guilty without a shadow of a doubt. You can create doubt by presenting an eyewitness or physical evidence that you didn’t commit a crime. The prosecutor may be left with no choice but to dismiss the case if DNA or video evidence shows you were home when the crime was committed.
However, some exculpatory evidence might fail to persuade the court to dismiss the charges against you. For instance, your relatives may not make trustworthy alibi witnesses since they might have the motive to lie on your behalf.
3. Negotiate suspension of the charges
Indiana and Arizona law empowers a prosecution diversion program that allows the defendant and prosecutor to get into agreements to delay prosecution. The agreement typically requires you to seek medical treatment or fulfill some conditions, like staying away from trouble for a specified period.
The court or prosecutor will dismiss all charges if you fulfill all the requirements of your prosecution diversion program. That means you will have no criminal record from the related charges.
4. Exclude witness testimony
Eyewitness testimony and the presentation of evidence are the key part of any criminal charges. Fortunately, some states allow your lawyer to interview a witness to prepare your defense. If the eyewitness declines to participate in an open interrogation, your attorney can file a motion with the court to request an order for a deposition.
A deposition gathers recorded testimony from the witness, which allows your attorney to pin down the witness’s story. Your lawyer can use the deposition to show inconsistency if the witness changes their story at trial, which may lead to the dismissal of the case.
There are many ways to get your criminal case dropped or dismissed. Nevertheless, as with any lawsuit, the best defense is to hire an attorney. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will be able to examine factors such as insufficient evidence and procedural errors or even show violations of your constitutional rights.