If you face criminal charges, you may wonder whether the charges can be dropped. Many people who have been charged with a crime never go to trial for a variety of reasons: The charges could be dismissed, or a plea deal could be reached.
Some of the main reasons your case could be dismissed includes:
- Lack of probable cause – If the law enforcement officials who arrested you did not have adequate reason to take you into custody, the charges can be dismissed.
- Illegal search – Searches of either your home or car without a proper search warrant or invalid special circumstances mean your charges can be dropped. Also, if it is determined that a search was improper in some way, any evidence collected will be invalid meaning there may not be a case against you.
- Lack of evidence – Evidence of a crime is essential. Without evidence, the court may dismiss the case.
- Missing evidence – If collected evidence is lost, the charges can be dropped. It is also means for dismissal if the police mishandle or contaminate evidence in some way.
- Unavailable witnesses – If there is a witness who claims to have information about the crime, but they either go missing or refuse to testify, it may be enough for a prosecutor to dismiss the charges.
- Failure to properly give Miranda rights – If you were not properly given your Miranda rights by law enforcement, any statement you have given may not be used against you. This would include a possible admission of guilt. However, it is important to note that there are exceptions to this rule. In some circumstances, it may not matter that you were not given your Miranda rights.
If you have been charged with a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, the charges can be dismissed because of extenuating circumstances relating to your arrest. If you have any questions or believe parts of your arrest were not handled properly, you should consult an attorney who can evaluate your situation.