If you are facing criminal charges, there is little doubt that you are going through an extremely difficult experience and need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Killeen criminal defense attorney on your side. While not every criminal case lends itself to filing a motion to dismiss, if the facts of your case include potential grounds for dismissal, it is always in your best interest to explore this possibility.
Potential Grounds for Dismissal
While every case is utterly unique to its own fact pattern, there are several potential grounds for dismissal that are commonly employed effectively, including:
- Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest You in the First Place – The Police cannot arrest you simply because they feel like it or because they are acting on their gut instincts. Instead, the police must have probable cause to believe that you engaged in a crime before they can place you under arrest. The Fourth Amendment protects us against unreasonable search and seizure, and the officer who arrested you will need to show that he or she did, indeed, have sufficient reason to arrest you in the first place.
- Errors in the Complaint – When a police officer files a complaint against you, he or she is obligated to fill it out truthfully. If the complaint – or the charging document – leaves out critical information or misstates the facts involved, your experienced criminal defense lawyer may have a valid argument for dismissing your case.
- Illegal Search – The police generally need a warrant to search you or your property, but there are exceptions to this rule. If, however, the police searched you without a warrant or an appropriate exception, the search may be deemed illegal, which means the evidence obtained during that search would similarly be deemed inadmissible. If that evidence is critical to your case, it could lead to a dismissal.
- Insufficient Evidence – The prosecution’s burden of proof for a criminal case is quite high. Generally, the prosecution must have enough evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime, and if the prosecution’s evidence does not rise to this level, the judge may dismiss your case.
- Unavailability of a Witness – Some cases hinge on witness testimony, but because witnesses are human beings, they are not always reliable. If the key witness in your case disappears, cannot be located, is ill, or is otherwise unavailable, the prosecution may drop your case due to lack of evidence. Additionally, a witness will sometimes back out in fear that his or her testimony will implicate him or her in a crime.