Why Were My Criminal Charges Dropped?
Posted July 19th, 2017 by Anthony Carbone, PC.
Categories: Criminal Defense.
Jessica was caught red handed trespassing on someone’s property. She had tried to explain that she was unaware it was private property, but the police arrested her and put her in jail. She found a criminal defense lawyer and was preparing her defense when she learned the prosecutor had dropped the criminal charges. She was happy but a little suspicious. Why would they do that? What does this mean for her case?
It is a rare occurrence but criminal charges can be dropped at any time. But it’s important to know who has the authority to drop charges and some of the reasons why.
Who Can Drop My Charges?
It’s important to note that unlike a civil case, the victim of the crime cannot drop a criminal charge. It is only up to the government, which includes the district attorney’s office, the attorney general, or any other local authority. This is because the government is the entity who decides whether you broke the law.
However, the victim of the crime does have the power to decide whether to participate in the criminal case. There can be a few reasons why the victim might not want to press charges. For example, the victim might not think the crime was done by the defendant or is afraid of the accused.
However, noncooperation from the victim does not mean the case is closed. The prosecution might feel it has enough evidence against you to continue with the case.
Why Did the Prosecution Drop Charges?
Of course, one of the biggest reasons why the prosecution would drop criminal charges is just the evidence points to another person. But there can be other reasons, such as:
- New evidence or witnesses exonerate the defendant. For example, a shoeprint found at the scene does not match any of the defendant’s shoes.
- The prosecution’s evidence has been ruled inadmissible. For example, it was obtained without a warrant.
- There’s a plea bargain on the table. Such as, the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser charge.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney involved in your case from the beginning. If you were charged with a crime in New Jersey, don’t wait another second. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.