Receiving a criminal charge can raise many questions and worries regarding the road that lies ahead. The complexities of the legal system can be overwhelming for most, coupled with the fear of the unknown, and you have a recipe that will drive most through the roof. An attorney will be important when it comes to giving you the legal guidance you need through the legal process. They will be able to help ease your mind by providing you with information that will help you to understand your options and what the future may hold for you. One common hope that people who have been charged with a crime often hold on to is whether or not their case will be dropped early on. This is likely something that has crossed your mind at one point or another. Can my attorney get the charges dropped?
Dropped Charges 101
When your case has been dismissed or charges have been dropped, it means that the opposing counsel, usually the state, have made the decision to not pursue the case against you. When a case is dismissed with prejudice, no other suits can be filed against you for the criminal act you are being accused of. A voluntary dismissal is when a plaintiff or the person who was the victim of the crime chooses to drop the case. There are a number of reasons charges could be dropped which include the following:
- The state does not have enough evidence to make a case against you
- Witnesses are no longer willing to testify
- The prosecutor may dismiss cases if it is a first offense
- The evidence gathered by investigators was done so in an unlawful way, examples include:
- Illegal searches
- Not enough evidence to arrest you
Will a Charge that was Dismissed Go on My Record?
Regardless of whether or not the charges were dropped, a charge will still remain on your record. Meaning, if a potential employer were to run a background check, the charges would show up. As you can guess this can have a big impact on a person’s life especially because running background checks is common practice amongst employers and landlords. An attorney may be able to represent you in sealing your arrest record if you are able to prove that you were innocent of the crime you were charged with. When the records have been sealed, you will be protected from it showing up in background checks.
Retaining an attorney, like a criminal defense attorney Fairfax VA trusts, who will look closely at the evidence is important. They may be able to find something within the details of your case that could result in the charges against you being dropped. Do not hesitate to work with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney; it could make all the difference if you have been charged with a crime.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Virginia Crime & Traffic Law Firm for their insight into criminal defense cases.