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Can I Get My Criminal Charges Dismissed?

 Posted on October 25, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Llano County criminal defense lawyerWhen someone is charged with a crime, he or she is officially accused of committing the crime. If a criminal case goes to trial, the case typically results in an acquittal or a guilty verdict. However, some cases never make it to trial. Criminal charges may be dropped or dismissed under certain circumstances. 

If a criminal defendant's charges are dropped or dismissed, the criminal defendant avoids the stress of a trial. He or she is free to go without threat of jail time, fees, or other criminal penalties. Eventually, the individual may have the record of his or her arrest expunged, so it is no longer visible to landlords, employers, or community members. 

When Are Criminal Charges Dismissed? 

There are several reasons why a judge may dismiss criminal charges. The most common reason is a lack of evidence. If the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge may dismiss the charges. A judge may also dismiss charges if he or she believes the defendant's constitutional rights were violated during the arrest or investigation. For example, if the police searched the defendant's home without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence obtained during the search would be inadmissible in court. As a result, the judge would likely dismiss the charges.

Prosecutorial misconduct may also warrant a dismissal. Police officers and prosecutors must follow certain procedures during arrests, interrogations, and hearings. If the prosecutor withholds evidence or commits some other type of misconduct, the judge may dismiss the charges. Similarly, if the police officer does not follow protocol during the arrest, any evidence obtained after the arrest could be suppressed. This means that the prosecutor would not be able to use it against the defendant in court. 

In some criminal cases, an alleged victim stops cooperating with the prosecution.  The victim may refuse to testify or change his or her story. If the victim's testimony is essential to the prosecution's case, the judge may dismiss the charges. 

Charges May Be Reduced in a Criminal Case

Even if a defendant cannot get charges dismissed entirely, there may be a chance to get the charges reduced.  This typically happens during plea bargaining. The prosecutor may agree to reduce the charges in exchange for the defendant's guilty plea. For example, a defendant charged with felony sexual assault may be able to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure. 

A criminal defendant may also be able to get the charges reduced by taking part in a pretrial diversion program. In these programs, the defendant agrees to complete certain requirements, such as drug counseling or community service. If the defendant completes the program successfully, the charges are typically dropped. 

Contact a Llano Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Russ Alan Baker, LLC. Llano County criminal defense attorney Russ Alan Baker has more than 15 years of legal experience. He and the rest of our team will review your case and help you determine the best way to proceed. To schedule a confidential consultation with our firm, call us at 325-216-2006.



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