Case pending trial? We understand how hard it can be to navigate the federal and state court systems. Unsure and wary about sentencing and appearing in front of a jury of your peers. Many clients’ first reaction is can I make this go away?
There are several ways to have your criminal charges and case reduced or even dismissed. A seasoned lawyer will help guide you based on the specifics of your unique case.
Our experienced and board-certified attorney explains defense strategies that could result in a case being dismissed with a more appealing outcome.
Involuntary And Voluntary Dismissal
Criminal cases can be dismissed voluntarily or involuntarily. What is the difference between the two and how can one dismiss the case?
A case that is voluntarily dismissed is dismissed when the prosecuting party chooses to dismiss the case. A prosecuting party in a criminal case is either the county prosecutor or the district attorney.
A case that is involuntarily dismissed is dismissed when the judge chooses to dismiss the case—most often against the wishes of the prosecution. Sometimes this dismissal is influenced by the defense. When a case goes to trial, the defense can file a motion to dismiss. This motion must be based on legal reasoning, for example, the defense feels the case lacks evidence.
Dismissed With Or Without Prejudice
A case can be dismissed with prejudice and without prejudice. A case that is dismissed with prejudice is a case that is dismissed permanently; charges cannot be refiled, and the case cannot be brought back to court. The case is over. This is great news if you are the defendant.
Likewise, a case that is dismissed without prejudice is only dismissed temporarily, not permanently. The plaintiff can refile, alter, or bring the case to another court. A judge or prosecutor may dismiss a case without prejudice so there is more time to address an issue or weakness in the case or to file a new case that is more serious or less serious than the original charge.
The legal term prejudice simply refers to the loss of certain rights and privileges. These rights and privileges refer to the plaintiff and their right to refile another case to bring the same case back to court.
Potential Reasons Why A Case May Be Dismissed
When a judge or a prosecutor decides to dismiss a criminal case there are several potential reasons why. Some of the most common reasons for dismissal include:
1. Insufficient evidence > an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the prosecution that there is not enough evidence to build a solid case or that the evidence that is presented is contradictory to the police report.
2. Breach of protocol > When law enforcement and prosecutors violate your rights, this can serve as grounds to dismiss. For example, your rights may be violated during your arrest, booking, interrogation, bail hearing, etc.
3. Fourth Amendment violations > As with a breach of protocol, a Fourth Amendment violation is in specific reference to unlawful search and seizures, a right everyone is protected against. If your case resulted from this violation, it may serve as a ground for dismissal.
4. Inadmissible testimony > When you are arrested an officer must read your Miranda Rights before obtaining a confession. If they do not, your testimony cannot be used in court.
While this is not a guarantee for dismissal, it does make it harder for the prosecutor to use certain testimony or evidence in court, which may lead the judge to grant dismissal due to insufficient evidence.
5. Lack of resources > An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate your case being dropped or reduced if law enforcement or the prosecution does not have enough time or resources to put into the case.
Hiring Stechschulte Nell Law
Hiring a board-certified and experienced criminal defense attorney is paramount when it comes to getting the best possible outcome for your case. The attorneys at Stechschulte Nell know how to navigate the criminal justice system as well as the prosecution and judges.
Our skilled defense team at Stechschulte Nell has helped hundreds of Floridians and we will work hard to achieve the best result in your case. Attorneys Ben Stechschulte and Amy Nell will even work with you to expunge the arrest from your record —remember just because your case was dismissed and you do not have a conviction on your record, does not mean your arrest has been cleared.
Call us at 813-280-1244 and schedule your consultation today. Your case cannot wait.