3 Ways A Criminal Case Might Be Dismissed
From the perspective of a criminal law attorney, the best way to win a case is to never have to get into a fight in the first place. That often means trying to get the judge to dismiss the charges.
Dismissal isn't a guaranteed solution by any means, but you can expect a criminal defense attorney to attempt it in most circumstances. Take a look at three reasons why a judge might dismiss a case.
Lack of Evidence
When a prosecutor brings a case to the court, the judge will want to know what justifies the effort. Particularly, the judge expects to see enough evidence to indicate that a crime might have occurred and that the defendant committed it.
This usually is handled during the arraignment process. An arraignment is a hearing where the prosecution tells the court and the defendant what the allegations are. If your criminal defense attorney believes there's a problem with the case, such as the police misidentifying you as the perpetrator of an offense, this is the time to talk about it.
Bear in mind the prosecution doesn't have to prove their case beyond a shadow of a doubt at this stage. They only need to show there's enough evidence that a reasonable person would suspect the defendant of a crime.
Flawed Legal Basis
Another argument against a criminal charge is that there isn't sufficient legal logic to support it. This can arise from a wide range of things. For example, the police might have conducted an illegal traffic stop that led to the charges. Consequently, a criminal law attorney would ask the court to dismiss the case because the cops poked their noses where they never should have been.
The defendant might also have a justification for their conduct. For example, self-defense is sometimes a compelling enough reason for a judge to dismiss an assault charge. In the eyes of the law, no crime occurred in this scenario.
America's legal system requires prosecutors to bring cases within a certain period. Federal crimes have to go to trial within a few months of the state filing charges in most cases. Similarly, you have a right to a speedy trial at the local and state levels, too. However, each state has different rules regarding what counts as a too-slow prosecution.
Likewise, the government can't just toss you in a cell and forget about you. a criminal defense attorney can demand the state bring you to a hearing, explain what's going on, and consider the possibility of release.
For more information, contact a law firm like Daniels Long & Pinsel.