If you are facing criminal allegations, your options are not limited to conviction or acquittal in court. In fact, many criminal cases are resolved long before they go to trial.
One way to resolve a case before trial is to have the charges dismissed or dropped. If you are accused of a crime, you should understand that there are a number of reasons why a prosecutor might drop criminal charges.
- You negotiate a plea deal. This might require cooperating with authorities in another investigation or pleading guilty to other charges, but in either case, the result could be dismissal of the most serious charges.
- You challenge search procedures. If a search violates your constitutional rights or is otherwise improper, any evidence collected as a result of the search can be dismissed. If this happens, there may not be enough remaining evidence to support charges.
- Other evidence exonerates you. Witnesses might come forward; test results might link someone else to a crime; investigations could uncover additional information that leads authorities to another suspect. Under any of these circumstances, you could have your charges dropped.
- There is suspicion of police misconduct. If an officer or other law enforcement agent involved in your case is accused of misconduct like planting evidence, profiling or using improper investigation or interrogation techniques, then all the cases in which that party played a role could be tainted by that misconduct. In such situations, the prosecution may have no choice but to drop the charges.
These are just some reasons why prosecutors drop charges; more can be found in articles like this one from FindLaw.
Whatever the reasons might be for the dropping or dismissal of charges, the result is that your freedom and future are preserved. Oftentimes, though, this will not happen on its own; you will need to take steps that lead to this outcome. For this reason, it can be vital that you consult an attorney as soon as possible if you are facing criminal charges.