Whatever criminal charges you’re facing, it’s only natural to wonder if your attorney can get the charges dismissed before you ever go to trial. After all, that’s probably the only outcome better than hearing “not guilty” in a verdict.
Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it likely? Probably not. Usually, prosecutors won’t file charges unless they’re convinced that they have a case. (That’s why there’s often a gap between when a crime happens and when someone’s actually charged.)
Just the same, your defense attorney will probably look for one of these reasons to ask the court to dismiss your case during pretrial motions:
- A lack of evidence: There can be a big gap between what the prosecution thinks it knows and what it can prove. If the evidence against you is shaky or incomplete, that can lead to a dismissal — especially if there are a number of different elements to the case that have to be proven.
- An improper search or seizure: Sometimes an entire case can fall apart before it ever really starts because a defendant’s right against improper searches and seizures was violated.
- Your cooperation is needed: Sometimes a prosecutor will cut a deal with a defendant, trading the criminal charges against that person’s cooperation as a witness. That may happen if you’re involved in a criminal scheme as a low-level member and the prosecution is more focused on those above you.
- New evidence points to your innocence: Sometimes prosecutors “jump the gun” and file charges before all of the evidence is gathered. For example, that “cocaine” in your car might turn out to be nothing more than powdered sugar from your last doughnut. Once the lab tests get back, your case could be dropped.
Having your charges dropped would be great — but you can’t count on it. Get an experienced Louisiana criminal law attorney on your side early for the best possible defense.