There are multiple ways to get charges dismissed in Charlotte, NC. You may get key evidence thrown out, leaving the prosecutor with no option but to dismiss your charges. You may also be eligible for a diversion program that could lead to a dismissal of charges. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer helps you understand your rights and options to get criminal charges dismissed.
Dismissing the Evidence Against You
If evidence was obtained illegally or violates the rules of evidence, you may get it suppressed, preventing the prosecution from using it against you.
For example, if evidence was obtained by law enforcement through an illegal search and seizure, you could get it thrown out. Without that evidence, the prosecutor may not be able to prove beyond a doubt that you are guilty. If there is insufficient evidence, your criminal charges may be dismissed.
Establishing Grounds to File a Motion to Dismiss
Your attorney could file a Motion to Dismiss your charges if there is insufficient evidence to support a conviction. The prosecutor must prove every single element of a charge. Otherwise, there is inadequate evidence, and the court may dismiss your case.
For example, one of the elements of a burglary is that it must have been committed at night. If the prosecutor cannot prove exactly when the crime occurred, they do not have enough evidence to support a burglary charge. They may file other charges, but your attorney could file a Motion to Dismiss the burglary charges.
You May Be Eligible for a Diversion Program
There are options to get dropped charges even if you are convicted in Charlotte, NC. You may be eligible for those programs if you are a first-time offender, veteran, or meet other qualifications of the specific programs.
Drug Treatment Court
The Drug Treatment Court Program is available to participants in 20 North Carolina counties, including Mecklenburg County. There are also options like a 90-96 drug program, which is also available in North Carolina. Other counties may also have similar programs available.
People charged with certain drug-related misdemeanors and felonies are eligible to participate in the Drug Treatment Court Program. It is designed for people who are addicted to drugs and provides specialized services and treatment. People classified as violent offenders, habitual felons, or drug dealers are not eligible for the program.
Drug Treatment Court Program Defendants may attend substance abuse counseling and submit to random drug testing. Each individual has a case worker who helps determine which services are right for the defendant, including medical services, housing, employment, and therapy.
Mental Illness Programs
North Carolina has a Jail Diversion Program for individuals with mental illness. It is an alternative to incarceration for defendants who were arrested and jailed due to behaviors caused by mental illness. This program is typically available for people with minor charges. The individual must be willing to undergo mental health treatment, and they cannot pose a risk to the public.
Can Charges Be Dropped After Indictment?
An indictment involves the formal charges assessed against a defendant. A grand jury must determine enough evidence exists to sustain the charges. You could get charges dropped after an indictment if there is insufficient evidence to support a conviction.
This might happen if the court suppresses key evidence and the prosecution no longer has enough evidence to prove all the elements of an offense.
Can Charges Be Dropped at Preliminary Hearing?
Yes. Suppose the judge determines the evidence does not support sufficient probable cause to hold the defendant to answer for the charges. In that case, the judge may dismiss the charges at the preliminary hearing.
Can a Misdemeanor Charge Be Dropped?
Misdemeanor charges could get dropped when a criminal defense attorney negotiates with the prosecutor to resolve the case. You may plea down to a lesser offense or dismiss the charges altogether.
Can a Felony Charge Be Dropped?
Felony charges are often dropped when the prosecutor realizes they don’t have enough evidence to support a finding of guilt. It’s critical to work with a criminal defense lawyer who can use the evidence to support your case and show the prosecutor that the evidence actually points to your innocence. The prosecutor may decide not to waste valuable time and money, and they may drop your charges.
If Charges Are Dismissed, Will They Go on Your Criminal Record?
If your charges are ultimately dismissed, they may remain on your criminal record. However, the record will show that you were not convicted. Your arrest will also be on your criminal record. You should investigate getting your record expunged if your charges are dismissed.