No one wants to live an embarrassing life due to criminal charges. Thus they start looking for ways to drop the charges against them. Accordingly, you can find this article helpful if you are also wondering how to get the charges dropped before the court date.
You (the defendant) can conveniently file a motion to drop the charges on the grounds of exculpatory evidence, speedy trial, pretrial diversion program, self-defense rule, and by collaborating with the prosecution to solve a significant criminal case.
Here we have also explained how to get charges dropped on the grounds of several crimes. In the same way, you can also find an appropriate answer to your question; can charges be dropped before a court or not, and how.
5 Best Ways How to Get Charges Dropped before Court Date
Besides hiring a professional attorney, bringing the given evidence into the prosecution’s concern can help you drop the charges before the court date.
1. Provide Exculpatory Evidence
It means an eye witness who proves your (defendant’s) innocence for dropping your charges before the court date.
Since evidence with the prosecutors is crucial to prove the charges against you, you have an excellent opportunity to prove your innocence through exculpatory evidence.
Let us take an example for your better understanding. If there are eyewitnesses who claim that they saw you at the place and time of the crime, then it means inculpatory evidence. In this situation, the prosecutor has solid evidence against you (the defendant).
On the other hand, if some of your phone histories show that you were not present precisely at the spot of the crime, then it is regarded as exculpatory evidence.
However, the law wants proof and not mere lip service. Thus if the prosecution does not have inculpatory evidence against you, you can provide exculpatory evidence to prove your innocence.
You can’t handle all these legal procedures yourself. Thus, it would be best if you had to look for a trustworthy and experienced attorney. They know well what exculpatory evidence and presentations to provide to prove your innocence.
2. Drop the Charges through a Speedy Trial Motion
Another suitable method to get charges dropped is filing a motion requesting a speedy trial.
Irrespective of the state, all offenders have the right to a speedy trial. On average, the misdemeanor trial should begin 60 days after the arrest. However, felony trials take about 175 days to begin.
Your attorney can file a motion to drop your charges before the court due to a speedy trial violation if a trial takes too much time to start.
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3. Setup a Pretrial Diversion Program
A pretrial diversion or intervention program is a highly effective method for having charges dropped before a trial. Although it is not a technical term, the program allows you to apply for the dismissal of charges by completing certain voluntary tasks.
Now, it’s an excellent method for dismissing the charges before the court date. But it requires that you (the defendant) must be the first-timer defendant, and your case also should be charged as a misdemeanor. Therefore you can think of it as a better way to drop the charges of just the first-time offenders.
Meanwhile, you should consult your attorney if you are eligible for the pretrial intervention program or not. If you are, you have to write an application targeting reasons like family, job, etc. issues, due to which you want to drop the charges before the court date.
If the application gets accepted, you will be provided with some rules. You’ll need to follow to avoid future imprisonment. These rules include doing voluntary work, conducting drug tests, and informing your probation officer daily.
Hence, the pretrial diversion program provides an adequate ground to escape troublesome imprisonment, trials, and other daily life problems.
4. Drop the Charges on the grounds of Self-defense
Sometimes the defendant has been accused of the acts they did for their family or a property’s defense. In such situations, the attorney can file a motion stating that the defendant’s charges should be dropped on the grounds of self-defense.
According to this law, the accused admits that they have committed the criminal acts. But the accused took those steps just for their defense, and those acts were their legal rights.` Therefore the charges filed against them are not legally appropriate, so they must be dropped before the court.
For example, if a thief broke into the house and threatened the accused’s family to kill. Meanwhile, the accused seeing this horrible situation, fires on the thief. Later, the accused got arrested for this act, which they obviously took to protect their family.
Consequently, based on this situation, the accused’s attorney will file a motion for dropping the charges because the accused took legally correct steps.
5. Drop the Charges by cooperating with another case
You can even drop the charges against you by cooperating with legal authorities in another case or by providing trustworthy evidence against other defendants. You can also Convince Prosecutor To Drop Charges.
However, being an attorney, I’d like to inform you that it is not customary. Therefore its chances of being accepted are also rare. But nothing is wasted in giving it a try. Thus you should check your luck at least once by letting the prosecutor know your willingness to cooperate in solving a critical case. In return, they have to drop your charges before the court date.
Also Read: How To Drop Charges Against Someone?
How can you Drop Charges on the grounds of some Crimes?
If you are accused of theft, reckless driving, or domestic violence, follow these methods to drop the charges before the court date.
1. Drop a theft crime charge before the court date
Theft crime means snatching someone’s property intentionally without taking their permission. This act is a significant crime and could lead to severe sentences. That is why you should try to drop its charges before the trial.
- You can take help from the following ways to defend yourself from theft charges.
- You did not have an idea that you possessed stolen property. But you were accused of theft. In this scenario, your attorney can file a motion on your behalf because the intention is crucial for theft crimes.
- If the police suddenly raid without any proper legal warrant, you have an absolute right to defend yourself against the theft charges.
- Often you (the defendant) have to commit the theft crime due to any compulsion, like if someone blackmails you to kill your family etc. So if your attorney proves it successfully, your charges can be dropped.
- The case can be dismissed even if you own the property, but someone accused you of stealing because of personal enmity.
2. Drop domestic violence charges before the court date
Domestic violence has been an irritating case and leads to numerous complexities in your personal life. That is why the prosecutors try their best to defend the victim when dealing with these cases.
Evidence to drop the domestic violence charges
If you are accused of domestic violence related to it, you may be thinking, can charges be dropped before trial or not?
Yes, the domestic charges against you can be dropped before the court date. But you must have some solid proof to request for dismissing the case. In this regard, the following evidence may help you:
- Your attorney will try to provide exculpatory evidence, indicating your innocence and leading to the drop of charges before the trial.
- If the police raid your personal property without a proper warrant, you have the right to drop the charges.
- If there are any clerical mistakes in your criminal data report, then even in this case, the prosecutor can’t proceed with the charges against you.
- Often the victim has been suffering from health issues. In this regard also, you can appeal for concluding your case.
- The evidence is insufficient to prove the domestic rights violation against you.
- You can also take help from the victim’s affidavit to drop the charges. Using it, your attorney can file a motion stating that the victim is unwilling to proceed with the case. So in this situation, the prosecutor must have to drop the domestic charges against you.
Drop unlawful driving charges before the court date
You can quickly drop the reckless driving charges against you by providing the following types of evidence in the considerations of the prosecutor.
- Prove to them that your car has some mechanical issues. Due to this, the car’s calibration may not be working correctly, causing the speedometer to run too fast.
- It would help if you tried to present some physical witnesses available at the spot of the illegal driving act.
- Sometimes, the speed signs on the road are hidden. Therefore the vague signs prevented your ability to drive within the suggested speed limits. Bring this into the consideration of the prosecutor through some solid proof.
- They could make a path to drop your charges if you have a driving school license.
Hence, these are a few pieces of evidence your attorney can use to drop the charges before the case proceeds to court.
What happens if charges are dropped before court?
If you are convicted of a crime but later on its charges drop, then it means that you don’t have to appear in the courtroom to provide evidence on your behalf.
Additionally, you will also be released from prison as soon as possible once the prosecutor issues an order dismissing your case.
However, since exceptions are always here, thus sometimes the prosecutor holds full rights to reopen your case.
Although, some people consider it a violation of the “double jeopardy rule” (a defendant cannot be tried for the same misconduct twice). But here, prosecutors can reopen severe cases which need utmost consideration.
Your attorney informs you whether your case falls into the category involving twice reopening or not. If not, you are fortunate enough to sigh relief after the charges drop. If you face some Arraignment Hearing, charges can also be dropped At An Arraignment Hearing.
What can happen when a case is dismissed at the court?
After the case’s dismissal, your case is finished and will no longer be brought to court and it also means that you are not guilty of the charges.
How can your felony charges be dropped?
The lack of insufficient evidence, clerical issues, cooperation with another case, and lack of enough resources are the possible reasons to drop your felony charges throughout the world.
What is the most common reason criminal charges can be dropped?
The possible reasons that cause a prosecutor to drop charges have been discussed above. But among them, the most common reason is the lack of probable cause and witnesses.
What does the dismissal of the grand jury mean?
A grand jury is a group of individuals assembled to inspect the potency of the accusation. During this jury, it is decided whether to continue dropping the case because there is insufficient evidence.
Does a prosecutor have the authority to drop charges?
Yes, the prosecutor can drop all or some of your charges. A prosecutor can do it even before the court trial starts, but again it varies according to the seriousness of the case.
Hi, I’m Brian Gary; I have my Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Over the years, I have dealt with many families and successful corporate Legal cases. I have counseled many people on legal matters, and along with my profession, I write about Law on my blog. Please feel free to contact me for counseling/case discussion; I’ll be happy to help you.