How a New York Attorney Gets Charges Dismissed

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How a New York Attorney Gets Charges Dismissed


The best criminal case is often the one that never happens. And sometimes, by working with a New York criminal lawyer, it’s possible to make it happen by having your charges dismissed.

Does it seem like an impossibility? It’s something we do for our clients quite often. There are a few instances where we can make it happen.

You Have an Alibi

An alibi defense remains a very good defense. If we can show you were in another place and time when the crime was taking place we can often get the DA to back off before the matter ever goes to trial.

Keep in mind this is often where people trip themselves up. They try to share their alibi with the cops instead of sharing it with their lawyer. Always avoid talking to the police. Allow your lawyer to present the evidence. You don’t know what the state’s case is yet, or even what precise time they think the criminal act happened. You might place yourself closer to the crime than you think by choosing to speak up.

You Have Other Evidence

The exculpatory evidence will depend on the case. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of showing the state can’t prove intent.

For example, when you get prosecuted for shoplifting the state must prove you deliberately attempted to make off with the item. If we run video of you going through the check-out line and paying for all your other items, then note the item in question was at the bottom of the cart where it would be easy to miss, then we might be able to show that the case isn’t worth pursuing.

The State Has Insufficient Evidence

The state must have enough evidence to pursue the case. If they don’t, you can move for dismissal, and the judge will often grant the motion.

Sometimes we can make it happen even earlier by laying it out for prosecutors. As former prosecutors ourselves it’s easy for us to put it in terms that make it obvious that dropping the case is more to the ADA’s benefit than not. ADAs don’t want to go to trial only to lose cases because they couldn’t meet their burden of proof.

See also: What is a Pretrial Motion?

The Grand Jury Won’t Indict

Testifying in front of the Grand Jury may be the only time when testifying in your own criminal case isn’t risky. That’s because you may be able to convey your honesty to the Grand Jury in a way that keeps them from indicting.

Without an indictment there is no trial. The charges are dismissed, and the case is closed.

See also: Should You Testify In Your Own Trial?

Getting Charges Dismissed Isn’t Always Possible.

We don’t want to give the impression that we work magic on behalf of our clients. Sometimes it’s possible to dismiss a case, and sometimes it’s not.

If we can’t get the charges dismissed we will often move to the next option: trying to get the charges reduced. If you are being charged with a minor misdemeanor we may be able to plea it down to a violation, instead.

See also: When Is It Smart to Take a Plea Deal?

We may also be able to work out alternative sentencing if pleading guilty to something turns out to be your best bet.

We’re not afraid to go to trial either. It doesn’t make sense for every client, but if it makes sense for you we’ll fight hard to protect your rights.

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