15th April 2023
As a criminal defendant, having your case thrown out is one of the best outcomes you could hope for. However, this isn’t an easy feat to accomplish. The court can throw out a criminal case for various reasons, but you’ll need a skilled attorney to make it happen.
The following is a look at some of the most common reasons courts dismiss criminal cases. If you need the help of a lawyer with extensive experience in criminal defense, speak with Sand Law. While we’ll never promise we can have your case dismissed, we’ll do everything we can to do so.
No Probable Cause
In criminal cases, probable cause is an essential legal standard that must be met before a defendant can be arrested or charged with a crime. Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is being committed and that the defendant is responsible. The court could throw out the case if there is no probable cause for an arrest or charge.
For example, if a police officer pulls over a driver for no apparent reason and then arrests them for a DUI without any evidence of alcohol or drug use, there may not be probable cause for the arrest. The defendant’s attorney could argue that the arrest was illegal. The court should ignore any evidence obtained from the arrest.
Another one of the most common reasons that courts dismiss criminal cases is insufficient evidence. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The court could throw the case out if the evidence is weak or insufficient.
For instance, suppose the prosecution has no witnesses, physical evidence, or video footage linking the defendant to the crime. If that’s the case, then proving their guilt will be very challenging. The defense attorney may argue that there isn’t enough evidence to support the charges and request the case be dismissed.
Another reason a criminal case may be thrown out of court is if law enforcement obtained the evidence illegally. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police obtained evidence illegally, such as through an illegal search or seizure, the court could throw that evidence out.
For example, suppose a police officer enters a defendant’s home without a warrant or consent and finds incriminating evidence. In that case, the court could dismiss that evidence. The reason is the officer didn’t have a legal right to search the home in the first place.
In some cases, evidence may be lost or destroyed, making it challenging for the prosecution to prove the defendant’s guilt. The court could dismiss the case if the prosecution didn’t produce key evidence.
Let’s say the prosecution claims that officers found a defendant’s fingerprints at the crime scene. But the fingerprints were lost or destroyed before trial. In this instance, the defense attorney could argue that the evidence was crucial. Since that evidence is missing, the court should dismiss the case.
Witness testimony can be crucial in a criminal case. However, if a witness is unavailable or can’t be found, the prosecution will likely have a tough time proving the defendant’s guilt. The case will likely be dismissed if the prosecution can’t produce key witnesses.
For example, suppose a witness who claims to have seen the defendant committing a crime can’t be located or refuses to testify. In that case, the prosecution probably won’t be able to prove the defendant’s guilt. The defense attorney could argue that the court should throw the case out because of a lack of testimony.
Willingness to Cooperate
In some cases, witnesses or victims may be unwilling to cooperate with the prosecution, making it challenging for the prosecution to build a case against the defendant.
However, if a critical witness or victim decides to cooperate with the defense instead of the prosecution, it could lead to the dismissal of the case. For example, a victim of a crime could reveal new information. This information could contradict the prosecution’s case or undermine the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses. If that happens, the defense attorney could use that information to argue for the case’s dismissal.
Finally, if police wrongfully arrested the defendant, the court could dismiss the case. A wrongful arrest occurs when an officer arrests a defendant without probable cause or if law enforcement violates their constitutional rights. Any evidence obtained from the arrest may be thrown out if the arrest was illegal.
For instance, if a police officer arrests a defendant for a crime they did not commit, the defense attorney could argue that the arrest was illegal. Any evidence obtained from the arrest should be thrown out as a result.
Contact Sand Law to Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At Sand Law, we know that when law enforcement accuses someone of a crime, that causes an incredible amount of stress. But our lawyers have a great deal of experience. We’re experts in the law and will use our expertise to defend your rights. You can rest assured we’ll fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
If you believe your criminal case could be dismissed for any of the reasons discussed in this article, please contact Sand Law to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. We can review your case, discuss your legal options, and work with you to build a strong defense strategy.
You can count on us to work passionately on your behalf. Our lawyers know how to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Don’t wait – contact us as soon as possible to schedule your consultation. You can give us a call at 701-609-1510, or you can use our online form.