DiCindio Law LLC | November 7, 2023 | Criminal Defense
5 Easiest Ways To Get Your Criminal Case Dismissed in West Chester, PA
Facing a criminal charge in West Chester can be a harrowing and life-altering experience. The stress of potential punishment looming over your head and the possibility of losing your reputation or career, among other things, can create enormous pressure.
However, it’s crucial to remember that every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – no matter what charge you face.
Everyone has the right to explore their legal options fully and strive towards getting their case dismissed if circumstances allow. Below are five strategies that can be used to achieve a dismissal in Pennsylvania courts. They are not surefire ways but possibilities depending on individual circumstances.
1. Engage in a Pretrial Diversion Program, Such as the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD)
A viable option in Chester County is the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, designed to prioritize rehabilitation rather than punishment. This program is typically utilized by first-time and non-violent offenders.
Successful acceptance into this program fast-tracks individuals into alcohol education classes and treatment if required. It may also require you to fulfill an assigned amount of community service.
Upon satisfactory completion of all these conditions under ARD, your charges should be dismissed, and you avoid a conviction.
However, failure to satisfy all requirements of the ARD program leads right back into conventional legal proceedings, where potential convictions and more severe penalties are possible.
2. File a Motion to Suppress
During an investigation, evidence against you might have been obtained in violation of your legal rights – for instance, if there was an unlawful search and seizure without probable cause or a valid warrant.
In such cases, working with your lawyer to file a motion to suppress becomes essential. This legal instrument challenges the admissibility of this particular piece of evidence on constitutional grounds and requests the court to prohibit the prosecution from using it at trial.
If the motion successfully manages to suppress important evidence, it could critically weaken or even shatter the prosecutor’s case. Following such a significant ruling, they might be left with no further option but to dismiss your case completely.
For instance, imagine you’re charged with drug possession, and your lawyer argues a successful motion to suppress that excludes the illegal seizure of the drugs. With this critical piece of evidence excluded, it’s highly unlikely that the prosecutor would be able to prove drug possession.
3. Engage in Plea Negotiations
The concept of a plea bargain often presents itself as rather appealing when you are faced with lesser or even no jail time, fewer fines, or reduced charges. The idea here is to help secure a more lenient outcome for yourself.
Through such negotiations, the prosecution and your defense team might consider dismissing some charges in exchange for an assured plea on others – particularly if there are multiple counts against you arising from one event.
This is often a safer route than going to trial, where you could face significant penalties if convicted on all counts.
4. Establish an Alibi
Sometimes, the best strategy to have your charges dismissed is to present irrefutable proof that you couldn’t possibly have been at the scene of the crime because you were elsewhere. This involves providing evidence in the form of an alibi.
Witness testimony, video footage, or even receipts and credit card transactions taking place far from where the crime unfolded can effectively demonstrate your presence somewhere else, thus shattering any assertion made by the prosecution that you were involved in the crime.
Although this doesn’t guarantee dismissal outright, it casts considerable doubt on a prosecutor’s argument and substantially strengthens yours, which could compel them to dismiss your charges.
5. The Victim or Witness Fails to Show Up
Cases often rely heavily on statements or evidence from victims and witnesses. If they don’t attend a court hearing – especially if this occurs multiple times – it often leads to a dismissal of criminal charges.
In cases where civilians need to testify against a defendant and law enforcement didn’t witness the alleged crime – like an assault case – it’s essentially impossible to prove guilt if the witness or victim doesn’t show up.
Contact a West Chester Criminal Defense Attorney For Help Getting Your Case Dismissed
It’s helpful to understand the routes toward getting your criminal case dismissed, as they could make all the difference in your defense strategy. However, executing such strategies without legal representation is not recommended. If you need help with a criminal matter, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a West Chester criminal defense lawyer.