If you’re facing criminal charges, you undoubtedly feel stressed and overwhelmed at the course-altering changes they can bring to your life. However, these charges do not have to be the end for you—you may get your criminal charges dismissed.
To get your charges dropped, you’ll need the help of an experienced Cleveland criminal defense attorney.
There are a variety of ways of getting your criminal charges dismissed. Your Cleveland criminal defense attorney will:
A skilled criminal defense attorney is well-versed in the law and defenses that may be available to you for your case.
The following are commonly used defenses for criminal charges.
Law enforcement must have a valid reason for stopping a vehicle, such as if the driver is driving erratically, is speeding, or the officer reasonably believes the driver is committing a crime. An officer cannot, however, stop a car for superficial reasons, including race or gender. Doing so can result in a violation of constitutional rights.
If you are illegally stopped, it can have a significant impact on your case, and the prosecution may have to drop the charges brought against you.
Police can only search a person, home, or car under certain circumstances:
If law enforcement searches your person, home, or vehicle without a valid reason or a warrant, any evidence collected during these searches cannot be used against you. Preventing such evidence from being used in court can greatly affect your case. Without such evidence, the prosecution may not have enough to uphold the charges.
To conduct a search, get a warrant, or arrest an individual, officers must first have probable cause. There is probable cause when there is a reasonable basis for believing a person has committed a crime or there is evidence of a crime present.
Officers cannot arrest a person or search their home or car without probable cause. The probable cause depends on the circumstances. For example, if a burglary occurs and a neighbor provides police with a description and they later find an individual matching that description, police will have probable cause.
Being arrested or having your home or car searched without probable cause presents an issue for the prosecution. Without probable cause, your defense attorney might get your charges dismissed.
When you are arrested for a crime, the prosecution must present the court with evidence showing probable cause to believe you committed the alleged crime. If there is little to no evidence, a judge may dismiss your charges.
Additionally, in some instances, the prosecution themselves may review your case and decide they lack evidence to move forward with your case, and they may drop your charges on their own.
Under the U.S. Constitution, your rights include:
If these or other civil rights are violated, your defense attorney may have the opportunity to use this violation as a defense to get your charges dropped.
Evidence plays a critical role in criminal charges, and law enforcement officers must follow the proper chain of custody protocols to protect the evidence against you.
For example, suppose an individual commits murder and officers collect the knife used to stab the victim. The officers properly collect the knife and take it to the lab to collect fingerprints and blood samples. Once finished, the lab technician takes the knife to storage, where it will be kept until needed. Every step must be documented, including where the knife has been and who has handled the knife. The knife going missing can present a chain of custody issue, and the knife may not be used in your case.
Chain of custody issues can present a substantial problem for your case. Your defense attorney can use this issue to get your charges dismissed potentially.
If you’re facing criminal charges, you are not alone. A criminal defense attorney in Cleveland can help analyze the charges against you and create a defense strategy. Contact us today to get started.