Getting a criminal case dismissed is often the goal of those facing criminal charges. It’s a great result. That’s why we often discuss how to get a criminal case dismissed when we first meet with our clients.
Having an experienced, knowledgeable, and highly-trained criminal defense lawyer can increase the odds of your case getting dismissed.
At The Law Offices Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, we understand that winning your case means everything to you.
We use our skills, experience, and resources to give you the best possible chance of getting your case dismissed. Contact us today to get started!
On What Grounds Can a Criminal Case Be Dismissed?
Prosecutors hold all the cards. They have the power to charge you with a crime if there is probable cause.
They also can decline to charge you or they can dismiss your case before trial.
Prosecutors should use their discretion wisely. They should not force everyone to plead guilty or take a case to trial.
Some cases should be dismissed, especially when the prosecutor knows the case has problems.
A savvy and experienced criminal defense lawyer knows when to negotiate with the prosecutor for pre-trial dismissal. Having a well-respected attorney gives you the upper hand in this situation.
If there is a valid dismissal argument and the prosecutor does not budge, your lawyer could file a motion to dismiss and ask a judge to throw the case out.
But there are limited situations where a judge has the power to dismiss a case.
Judicial dismissal usually occurs when the court can see that the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to go forward with the charges.
Also, prosecutors might be forced to dismiss your case if you win a motion to suppress.
Successfully arguing a motion to suppress evidence often results in a dismissal of the charges because the prosecutor has little or no evidence left to use at trial.
For instance, in drug possession cases, the essence of the crime is clearly possession of illegal drugs.
Suppose your lawyer successfully argues a motion to dismiss the drugs as evidence because the police seized them illegally.
The judge would then exclude the confiscated drugs from evidence, leaving the prosecutor with no proof of possession.
In such a case, the judge would likely find that there is insufficient evidence to proceed and would likely dismiss the case.
Winning these types of motions to suppress critical statements or evidence could also convince a prosecutor that the likelihood of a conviction is low and that justice requires the dismissal of your charges.
A Criminal Case May Be Dismissed If Which Event Occurs?
California has long recognized the possible harm that can occur if someone has a criminal record. A guilty plea or verdict usually stays on your record forever.
For people with no previous criminal record or those with minor charges, a permanent record is a harsh result.
Completing a pre-trial diversion program is one way to earn a dismissal of your charges.
You have to complete the components of the diversion program the court assigns you and stay out of legal trouble to earn a dismissal of the charges.
You do not have to admit that you committed a crime for pre-trial diversion.
Deferred entry of judgment is the other mechanism courts use to help people. To get deferred entry of judgment, you must plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) and waive your jury trial rights.
Then the judge will put you on probation and order you to complete a program.
Successful program completion means the court will not formally enter the guilty finding on your record.
The court dismisses your case instead.
Want More Information About How to Get A Criminal Case Dismissed?
Our lead attorney Kerry L. Armstrong is board-certified by the State Bar of California as a legal specialist in criminal law.
He and his team have tried over a hundred cases to jury trial, not to mention numerous bench trials. They know what it takes to win.