When Can Criminal Charges Be Dropped

Facing criminal charges and awaiting a court date can be one of the most trying experiences for someone who has never previously been involved in such an event. You probably have many questions about what might happen next and if it is possible to have the charges against you dropped. Criminal defense attorney Daniel R. Perlman has successfully gotten charges against his clients dropped over the years and can outline what you can expect based on the facts of your case.

Key Takeaways

  • The main reason that criminal charges are dropped in a case is due to a lack of sufficient evidence
  • Judges can dismiss cases and even convictions if the facts of the overall case are problematic or compromised due to procedural violations or unlawful searches.
  • Cooperating as a witness in another case may incentivize prosecutors to drop your case.
  • Working with criminal defense experts like the lawyers at the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman gives you the best chance of having charges dropped or your case dismissed.

Why might charges be dropped before trial in California?

One of the main reasons criminal charges could be dropped before trial is that the prosecutor may lack sufficient evidence to make their case. For the prosecutor to file charges, they need solid proof. Likewise, if you can provide information through physical evidence or witnesses that prove you did not participate in the crime, the charges are likely to be dropped.

What is a Dismissal?

Dismissal is when a pending case is dropped by either the prosecutors or the judge because there doesn’t seem to be sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution. It can also refer to clearing a criminal record of which someone has already been convicted. The reasons for dismissal of an upcoming trial or conviction usually revolve around a problematic case. This could mean the evidence or procedures carried out might be under question. In both trial dismissal and conviction dismissal, any criminal record related to these charges will disappear, with a few exceptions related to employment disclosure involving access to firearms or drugs.

Why Might a Prosecutor Drop Charges?

A prosecutor can decide whether a case will go to trial. The strength of the evidence usually determines this, but several other factors can come into play.

Insufficient Evidence

Insufficient evidence is the most common reason that a prosecutor might drop charges, or a case might be dismissed. The prosecutor needs to be sure that if the state is going to bring the case to trial, there is a reasonable amount of certainty they can win their case based on the existing evidence. If possible, a seasoned criminal defense attorney will look for opportunities to have incriminating evidence thrown out. If the most substantial evidence is thrown out by a judge, then it is more likely that a case will be dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to have someone in your corner who completely understands these types of criminal cases.

Violation of Procedures by Arresting Officers

Law officers must follow specific procedures if they arrest someone, and any departure from these procedures can put a case into question. One example is if the arresting officers do not read someone their rights upon arrest. Another example might be the use of excessive force during the arrest. A violation of arrest procedures may be grounds for the dismissal of a case.

Unlawful Search or Seizure

Unlawful search or seizure is another possible reason a case may be dropped. When this occurs, any evidence gathered during or as a cause of the illegal search or seizure is no longer admissible in court. If this evidence that was unlawfully gathered was the keystone of the prosecution’s case, and it can no longer be used in court, then the prosecution may have no choice but to drop charges.

Cooperating Witness

Cooperating as a witness in another, more significant case might be why a prosecutor would be willing to drop charges or dismiss a case. If you have relevant and reliable information to share that could help with another case, your lawyer can help you obtain a deal that enables you to avoid impending charges.

Prioritizing Other Cases

The state only has many resources to prosecute cases; others may take precedence over yours. Your case could be dismissed if the state feels it is more important to allocate resources to more significant court cases.

Free Criminal Defense Consultation in Los Angeles

Criminal charges on your record can have a long-term impact on your personal life and employability. Working with proven criminal defense attorneys like those at the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman can mean the difference between a conviction and having your charges dropped altogether.

How to Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you are facing criminal charges, you should speak to legal counsel who can give you the best chance of beating the case. Depending on the facts of your case, a seasoned lawyer may be able to get you a lesser penalty or even have charges dismissed.

Daniel R. Perlman has extensive experience with the most severe criminal defense cases, including violent crimes, sex crimes, murder or manslaughter, assault and battery, domestic violence, DUIs, drug charges, and more. To schedule a free consultation with our team, call (888) 328-8556 today.

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Our Clients Say

“About 3 years ago, I was in need of legal help. I was recommended to a different firm initially, but during my consultation realized I was being lied too so that with a sense of urgency, I would retain theyer services.  I left and did my own research and found Daniel Perlman. I decided to meet with him, who immediatly struck me as someone how knew what he was talking about.  He laid out all the different options for proceeding, and after defending me for about 4 months, got me the best possible outcome for my case.  Hes not the cheapest attorney, but being a small business owner, I understand that you get what you pay for, and with this firm, its money well spent.  I highly recommend his services and hope I never need them again.” – Rhett B.

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