Criminal cases can be extremely taxing for all the parties involved. If you have been unfortunately embroiled in a criminal suit, do not panic. Though felony is a serious charge, you can definitely prove your innocence and come out of the ordeal without letting your career prospects or personal record be tarnished.
Criminal charges can be pressed for a variety of reasons, from petty theft to first-degree murders. If you are innocent, do not worry that your life has been thrown off track forever. There are ways in which you can convince the jury of your innocence, or you can even have your case dismissed.
It is important that you are aware of the intricacies of your case, and are knowledgeable enough to make the right decisions regarding how to proceed with the case. Here are a few things that you need to know about when cases are dismissed before a plea or trial, and how you can make the best decisions regarding your case.
1) Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest
There are many reasons why cases get dismissed before they go to trial.
Lack of probable cause to arrest is one of the most common reasons why cases get dismissed before going to trial.
An arrest cannot be made merely on the basis of suspicion. If an officer suspects you of robbing a nearby store and arrests you, the charges against you will be dropped because the arrest was made without probable cause. But, if an eyewitness had given a physical description of the robber to the police, and if the officer had made the arrest on the basis of similarity in resemblance, then the case will go to trial.
Discoveries made in searches conducted on you after the arrest that supports the charges made against you will make it possible for the prosecutor to avoid dismissal.
2) Mistakes in Criminal Complaint
Mistakes in a police report are also grounds for the case to be dismissed. Sometimes, the filing officer may make mistakes due to carelessness or false statements on part of the witnesses, or due to bias or genuine errors.
Sometimes, victims over-exaggerate injuries or place blame unfairly when all that the defendant did was act in self-defense.
You can choose to go to trial in such cases where you will almost surely get a positive judgment. But, if you want to avoid the stress of a criminal trial, you can opt for a dismissal.
3) Illegal Stop or Search Can Lead to Dismissal
There are certain conditions only under which police can carry out searches of a person, car, or house. If you can prove that an illegal search was carried out on your person or property, without special circumstances, then again, you can hope to have your case dismissed.
An officer cannot search you or your car merely on suspicion. If you are arrested for speeding, the police can search your car. If you are arrested for any crime, the officer can search you without a warrant. A search can be carried out in your house without a warrant if the police officer has heard gunshots or noticed something out-of-place on your property.
Lack of special circumstances can make evidence from an illegal stop or search unacceptable in a court of law, leading to a dismissal.
4) Other Causes for Dismissal
Other reasons why your case may be dismissed include lack of sufficient evidence, unavailable witnesses, or loss of evidence.
Sometimes, witnesses change their stance or give contradictory statements that make it difficult for prosecutors to present a solid case. An absence of witnesses or unwillingness of a witness to testify in court on grounds of Fifth Amendment can lead to a dismissal of criminal charges against you. In some instances, key witnesses are not able to identify the defendant as the person who committed the crime, and without the surety of witness identification at trial, the prosecutor may dismiss the charges against you.
Prosecutor’s discretion also can work in your favor. It is very rare for a prosecutor to drop charges ‘without prejudice.’ But, if the prosecutor deems your charge as very minor or if you are a first-time offender, your case may be dismissed. However, if you are arrested within a span of one year, the previous charge will also be freshly re-filed.
5) Consider Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
A criminal defense attorney will be experienced in matters of criminal law, and will be able to guide you better. An expert lawyer will also be able to better evaluate your chances of winning a dismissal. There are several causes for dismissal that a trained and experienced criminal lawyer in New Mexico will be able to spot.
Your lawyer will also be able to guide you in striking a plea bargain, and will protect you from harsh penalties and unfair sentencing.
Fighting a criminal case is not easy. It is highly distressing – whether you are innocent or not – and you will require expert guidance to navigate the difficult waters of the criminal justice system in our country. But, do not give up hope, and remember that you do have a good chance of clearing your name. With a trusted lawyer by your side, you stand a good chance of getting the best outcome possible.