If you are facing a criminal charge, you have no doubt reached your maximum stress level and may be tempted to do just about anything to alleviate some of that stress. Many people make plea deals in an effort to reduce the charges they face and to make the associated anxiety more manageable – even when they are not guilty of the crimes in question.
This is how powerful criminal charges can be, and many prosecutors are not afraid to bank on this effect. There are, however, better paths forward, and one of them involves having your criminal charge dismissed or dropped, which is a more beneficial outcome. Ultimately, exploring every available defense option with an experienced criminal attorney who is in your corner is in your best interest.
There Is Inadequate Evidence against You
In order to convict you of the crime that you have been accused of, the prosecution needs to have evidence that reaches the level of proving beyond a reasonable doubt (it would be unreasonable to believe otherwise) that you committed the crime. This translates to a considerable amount of evidence, and prosecutors can be overly optimistic out of the gate but, after exploring the actual evidence with your knowledgeable criminal attorney, may become more realistic and drop (or decrease) the charge.
If the prosecution refuses to budge, but your criminal defense lawyer believes there is not enough credible evidence against you to reach a level that is beyond a reasonable doubt, he or she can file a motion to dismiss with the court.
Fourth Amendment Violations Occurred
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was included to help protect the accused from any form of illegal search and seizure by the police. Any evidence that is not obtained within the letter of the law may be excluded from the case against you, which – depending upon the nature of the evidence – can lead to the judge dropping your charge (or to the prosecution lowering the charge against you). Very generally, law enforcement must have one of the following in order to search you, your vehicle, your possessions, or your home:
Probable cause for doing so (a credible reason to believe that you engaged in a crime)
Your permission to do so (do not give your permission)
A specific warrant to search whatever it is that the police search
Any evidence found in a search that was not based on any one of the above may be deemed impermissible, which – if the evidence is significant – can lead to a dropped charge.
When criminal procedure is not carefully adhered to during arrest, booking, bail hearings, and all pretrial events, it violates your legal rights and could lead to a dropped charge.