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Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Get Your Charges Dropped?

— January 30, 2024

As confident as you might be in your abilities to represent yourself, there can be value in hiring a criminal defense lawyer.

Not everyone sees the value in a criminal defense lawyer immediately. They might think they can navigate the legal system themselves to put this legal nightmare behind them. That might be true, but there can be value in hiring a trusted criminal defense lawyer when there’s a chance they might be able to get your charges dropped. Sometimes, they can rely on these strategies to achieve that outcome.

Insufficient Evidence

Insufficient evidence describes evidence that doesn’t meet the burden of proof. This means it’s inadequate to prove that you committed a crime. Your chosen Las Vegas criminal defense attorney might employ this tactic if they believe the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence to prove you committed a crime. 

After all, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were guilty of the crimes for which you were facing charges. If they can’t do that, your lawyer may be able to fight to have your charges dropped. 

A Constitutional Rights Violation

Law enforcement must follow a list of rules during a criminal investigation or while someone is being arrested for a crime. If they don’t follow those rules and violate your constitutional rights, this can work in your favor. 

After comparing your experience to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, your lawyer might be able to argue that your rights were violated. If they can prove this was the case, they may be able to request that the charges against you be dropped. 

Illegal Search and Seizure

Image by Wannapik Studios.
Image by Wannapik Studios.

Despite hearing about it happening in the news all the time, law enforcement can’t just walk into someone’s house and start gathering evidence to bring charges against you. They can’t search and seize without a search warrant or probable cause. 

An unreasonable search and seizure is described as unconstitutional and violates the Fourth Amendment. This kind of act may enable your lawyer to fight to have evidence suppressed. If that evidence is what led law enforcement to charge you, those charges may be dropped. 

Witness Credibility

Someone saying they saw or heard something doesn’t mean they did. Not all witnesses are credible, even if they fit the prosecutor’s narrative. Your lawyer may help get your charges dropped if they can show that a witness is not credible or find evidence contradicting that witness’s statement. If a case depends on that witness’s statement, it may only be a matter of time before your charges are dropped and you walk free. 

Plea Bargaining

When prosecutors have all the solid evidence they need to convict you, there isn’t always a way to have charges dropped. However, that doesn’t mean your lawyer can’t help you obtain a plea bargain. 

A plea bargain involves admitting your guilt rather than making the prosecutor prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. In exchange, you may receive a lighter sentence than what you possibly would have gotten if your case was put before a judge and jury. 

As confident as you might be in your abilities to represent yourself, there can be value in hiring a criminal defense lawyer. They may be able to use some of these strategies above to have your charges reduced or dropped. 

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