If you have been charged with a crime, you are most likely going through one of the worst times of your life. You may be worrying about facing time in prison and huge fines. While many criminal cases are resolved through plea agreements, some are decided at trial or through defense attorney motions. In some cases, raising defenses could result in the charges against you being dismissed.
Common Grounds to File a Motion to Dismiss Your Criminal Case
Whether you have any grounds to request that the charges against you be dismissed would depend on the facts of your case, how the police handled your arrest, and the evidence against you. Reasons you might want to bring this type of motion include:
No probable cause. The police must have probable cause to believe you committed a crime, were driving under the influence of alcohol, or violated a traffic law in order to stop you or your vehicle. If the officer did not have a good reason to suspect you, you may be able to get the charges against you dismissed.
Illegal search. The police can only search your vehicle or your home if they have a valid search warrant or under special circumstances—such as if you agree to the search, you have already been arrested, or emergency situations exist. If the search is illegal, any evidence the police obtained could be suppressed. This could result in the police having no case against you.
Lack of evidence. The police must have sufficient evidence to establish you committed the crime you are being charged with. If the judge does not believe there was strong enough evidence, he could dismiss the case.
Lost evidence. If key evidence is lost that is necessary to prove you committed the crime, the charges against you could be dismissed by the judge or voluntarily by the prosecutor. Similarly, if the police cannot show the proper chain of title—that the evidence was handled properly from the time the police took it as evidence until the trial—the evidence could be suppressed. If the evidence is critical to proving your guilt, the prosecutor may not have a case.
Missing witnesses. If a witness is missing or refuses to testify (and his testimony is critical to the charges against you) the judge could grant a motion to dismiss the charges or the prosecutor may voluntarily dismiss the case.
Failing to state Miranda Rights. If the police failed to give you your Miranda rights, or failed to give them properly, your statements—including a confession—may not be used against you. Sometimes this can be the primary evidence the police have against you. However, there are exceptions when failing to give Miranda rights properly do not limit the use of your statements by the police.
If you’ve been charged with a felony, DUI, or traffic violation, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to explore all of the defenses that could get your charges dismissed. Contact Easley Law Firm at 888-386-3898 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you achieve the best possible outcome.