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Ways to Get Your Maryland Criminal Charges Dismissed

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you have two primary options. The first is to plead guilty, and the other is to take your chances and go to trial. However, there may be a third alternative of which you were not aware. Many criminal cases can end up being dismissed by the court or the prosecutor for a number of reasons.

This is one of the first duties your Charles County criminal defense lawyer will tackle. Are there any grounds on which your case could be dismissed before you enter a plea or before it goes to trial? Here is a look at some of the more common grounds in a criminal case that may warrant a dismissal.

Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest You

To be a legal arrest, the officer must have probable cause that you committed a crime. There must be factual circumstances that a crime was committed, not just a gut feeling that the officer had that you did something wrong earlier in the day. For example, if there was a robbery committed nearby 20 minutes ago and a description of the robber matches you and the clothing you are wearing, that would be probable cause. If the description of the robber looked nothing like you and did not have the same clothes, the case would likely get dismissed.

Illegally Stopping and Searching You

Law enforcement has the right to stop your vehicle or you as a pedestrian under certain conditions. If you are violating a traffic law or appear to be driving drunk because you are weaving back and forth, that gives an officer probable cause to stop you. If the officer opts to pull you over based on the fact that he or she does not like the vehicle you are driving or has a bias against your race, it could be an illegal stop and a violation of your constitutional rights.

When it comes to searching, police can only search your car, house, or person if they have a warrant. Only in limited scenarios can they perform a search without one. There has to be a reasonable belief that you are in possession of a deadly weapon. If you were pulled over for apparent drunk driving, they may search your vehicle. In cases of emergency, like screaming or shots fired, they may be able to enter your home without a warrant, as well.

Lost Evidence or Insufficient Evidence

It does not happen often, but if the prosecutor loses important evidence, or if the investigation did not yield the physical evidence needed, he or she may have to dismiss the case. The reason for this is that the prosecution does have enough evidence to move forward that would prove you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Insufficient evidence can apply when a key witness is suddenly unavailable or recants his or her story. Without that witness’s testimony, the state of Maryland has no case against you.

Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Building a strong defense and getting charges dismissed are tasks that a skilled Charles County criminal defense attorney does for every client. This is why you should not depend on a court appointed public defender to win your case. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Maryland, contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro today at 301-705-5253 to schedule an initial consultation.