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How to Get A Federal Criminal Charge Dismissed

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How to Get a Federal Criminal Charge Dismissed

If you have been charged with a federal offense you have a right to a fair trial. Every criminal defendant is entitled to challenge the charges against him or her. A defendant may request that the judge dismiss or reduce the charges. A criminal defense attorney should determine whether there are any grounds on which the case could be dismissed before a plea or trial. Some grounds for dismissal include:

  • A lack of probable cause to arrest
  • An illegal stop, detention or search
  • A lack of evidence to prove the defendant committed the crime

A Lack of Probable Cause to Arrest

In order to arrest a person, the police must have a warrant or probable cause to believe that the person committed or is about to commit a crime. The officer must have a reasonable belief, based on objective factual circumstances, that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime. For example, if the police see an individual entering a convenience store wearing a ski mask and carrying a weapon in his hand, the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect is committing or about to commit a crime. If the police arrest a suspect without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence obtained as a result of that illegal arrest must be suppressed, which means that the evidence cannot be used against the suspect. If the evidence is suppressed, a federal criminal defense attorney can ask the judge to dismiss the charges because there is no evidence that the suspect committed a crime.

An Illegal Stop, Detention or Search

An officer needs more than a mere hunch before he can stop and detain a suspect. An officer can stop a vehicle or a person under certain circumstances if the officer observes a traffic violation, or if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed and the suspect committed it. The Constitution protects the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. When a police officer makes a traffic stop, the driver of the car and any passengers in the car are seized.

A police officer is not allowed to enter an automobile or home without a warrant or probable cause unless the owner consents. Unless an officer has a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, a traffic stop must last no longer than is reasonably necessary to issue a citation. For example, if an officer smells an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle or the suspect, the officer will have probable cause to detain and search the vehicle and the suspect. But, if the police illegally stop or detain, or search a suspect without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence obtained as a result of that illegal stop and search must be suppressed, which means that the evidence cannot be used against the suspect. If the evidence is suppressed, a federal criminal defense attorney can ask the judge to dismiss the charges because there is no evidence that the suspect committed an offense.

A Lack of Evidence to Prove the Defendant Committed the Crime

A defendant is innocent until proven guilty. The government is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a defendant committed the crime charged. Where there is no evidence that a defendant committed the crime, a jury cannot conclude that a defendant is guilty of committing the crime. For example, if a suspect is arrested for possession of cocaine but there is no evidence that he or she possessed the cocaine, a federal criminal defense attorney can ask the judge to dismiss the charges because there is no evidence, based on the law and the facts, that the suspect committed the crime of possession.

When a judge makes a decision on a request to dismiss an indictment, the most important consideration is whether the defendant can obtain a fair and impartial trial. The judge must liberally resolve any doubt in favor of the defendant. The Sixth Amendment provides every criminal defendant the right to a fair trial.

If you need legal assistance in getting a federal criminal charge dismissed, call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida. With more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and hundreds of jury trials, Daniel earned tremendous accolades from judges, other lawyers, defendants, and even jurors. Daniel started his legal career as a state prosecutor and became the chief of the Narcotics division before opening his own law practice in 1985.

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M D
15:43 12 Feb 20
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Gennetza Hernandez
Gennetza Hernandez
16:44 30 Jan 20
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Amy Brennan
19:49 13 Jan 20
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Irene Meadows
21:56 11 Dec 19
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A Google User
14:27 11 Dec 19
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Luella Nelson
23:30 10 Dec 19
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Joe Blanco
Joe Blanco
01:48 07 Dec 19
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Anjeanette Blanco
22:37 06 Dec 19
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Nicole Tarantelli
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gilbert Lozada
18:23 01 Nov 19
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18:13 21 Oct 19
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Jose Rodriguez
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Genesis Padilla
04:22 12 Sep 19
Mr. Fernandez was absolutely amazing with our family’s case. Very genuine and intelligent. Austin was a pleasure to... work with as well. We had a great experience overall, we were blown away by what he was able to accomplish so quickly.read more
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Alex Gomez
15:13 14 Aug 19
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D Serano
01:21 18 Jul 19
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