While some criminal cases are ultimately dismissed when the prosecutor drops the charges, not all cases warrant such an outcome. When a criminal defense attorney talks to a potential client, it is reasonable to talk about the likelihood of the charges being dropped. The lawyer is giving their opinion based on their experience trying criminal cases, their knowledge of the law, the relevant facts and circumstances, and the common practices of the prosecutors involved. However, it is never ethical to guarantee any outcome to a case. No lawyer can or should promise that a charge will be dropped. Simply put, a dismissal is a result that we can work towards but is not entirely in our control.
Rather than making promises, our attorneys focus on thoroughly investigating your criminal case to reveal deficiencies in it that would warrant the criminal charges being dropped. In some instances, we find that the prosecution has a weak case where we can be aggressive in seeking to have the matter dismissed. In other cases, our investigation may not result in a complete dismissal of the case, but we can still push for a significant reduction in the charges and a lesser punishment based on the facts we uncovered. Finally, there are cases where the prosecution is unwilling to drop charges when we think ought they to be dismissed. Those we take to trial and seek justice from a judge or jury.
Reasons Why Criminal Charges Are Dropped
Only the prosecutor has the power to dismiss a case. The prosecutor has almost complete discretion to decide which cases get dismissed and why. As criminal defense attorneys, part of our job is to investigate the case and provide the prosecutor with reasons why they should choose to dismiss the charges.
There are several reasons why the prosecutor might drop charges. Sometimes we can demonstrate that the case is so weak that it should be dismissed. This might be because there is insufficient evidence to convict, or information has come to light that shows that our client is actually innocent. Other cases might have problems due to lack of probable cause, jurisdictional issues, or other errors in criminal procedure.
It is also relatively common for the alleged “victim” in a case to want the charges to be dropped. Because it is not up to the victim whether a case goes forward, in some cases we can assist by persuading the prosecutor that agreeing to drop charges is the right thing to do.
In rare cases, a key witness may be unavailable to testify or key pieces of evidence are lost or compromised. The prosecutor has no choice but to drop the criminal charges because he or she cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime without this evidence. Rather than relying on the prosecution to make a mistake or fail to prove its case, we focus on performing our own investigation to find ways that we can attack elements that are required to prove the case such as an illegal search or arrest, insufficient evidence or lack of jurisdiction. By attacking required elements of the criminal charge, we work to have the charges dropped before the case is tried.
In order to increase the chance that your criminal charges may be dropped, it is imperative that you contact our office as soon as possible after being arrested so that we can begin our investigation. As time passes, evidence may be more difficult to uncover and witnesses’ memories tend to fade making it more difficult to find evidence that your criminal charges should be dropped.
Contact an Experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney
“Attorneys Who Will Aggressively Protects Your Rights”
The Trevor J. Avery Law Firm, LLP is a full-service Jacksonville Criminal and Civil law firm that is committed to providing results-driven legal representation to businesses and individuals seeking an alternative to large-firm representation. We focus on getting you the results you want while offering you a cost-effective solution to your legal needs. We understand that we work for our clients; therefore; our attorneys communicate regularly with each client to ensure that the client knows what is going with the case.
When you have legal problems, you need an experienced legal professional in your corner. No matter the case, you should have an attorney working for you who knows the law and who has the experience to get results. We represent clients throughout Duplin County, Onslow County and the surrounding communities. Call our office at (910) 405-8459 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.