April 19, 2022 | Criminal Defense
There are many ways to have a criminal case dismissed in the State of Ohio. This blog post will cover five of the easiest ways, with the intent of arming you with valuable information should you find yourself facing criminal charges.
Insufficient Probable Cause
An arrest cannot be made without probable cause, nor can a warrant. Probable cause is typically a summary of facts that support that the person accused either committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime.
Article I, Section 14 of the Ohio Constitution outlines the requirement of probable cause for warrants, much like the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A probable cause affidavit that simply states a conclusion will be insufficient to justify finding probable cause absent statements of fact to support those allegations.
Therefore, the charges could be dismissed if an arrest is made or a warrant is issued without probable cause. It would be wise to have a knowledgeable defense attorney assist you with raising this argument. Your attorney can outline to the judge why the charges should be dismissed – or why a warrant should be set aside – due to lack of probable cause.
Lack of Evidence
If probable cause exists, the case may move forward; however, in order for someone to be convicted of a crime, the prosecution must have evidence that rises to a much higher level. That level is one you likely have heard of: proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a standard higher than the low probable cause threshold and is the highest level of proof required in any judicial proceeding.
This makes sense because someone’s life and liberty are on the line. A charge could be dismissed if an attorney points out the evidence-related weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and successfully argues so in court. The defense attorney could then move for a judgment of acquittal after the presentation of the prosecutor’s case, essentially asking the judge to dismiss because the evidence is insufficient.
Other times, a defense attorney might file a Motion to Suppress the evidence in a case due to an illegal search or seizure. If it turns out that law enforcement searches a person illegally, then any evidence or contraband seized or discovered as a result of that may be suppressed. If that evidence is suppressed, that means it cannot be used against the accused in the prosecution’s case. And in many cases, particularly drug cases, that is the only incriminating evidence against that person. So if it becomes unusable, the case will have to be dismissed by the prosecution.
A search is illegal any time it is done without probable cause or without consent, generally speaking – though there are exceptions and extenuating circumstances that exist as well. It is important to speak to an experienced defense attorney about the specifics of your case to determine if there may have been anything unlawful about what law enforcement did or if the search may have been illegal.
Discretion of the Prosecutor
Ultimately, the prosecutor does have discretion in which cases are prosecuted. The prosecutor may review a case and determine that there may be mitigating reasons to dismiss the charges even though there is sufficient evidence of guilt.
Other times, there may be reasons to defer prosecution or allow a first-time offender the ability to participate in a pretrial diversionary program or deferred prosecution. It is important to speak to a local attorney who can advise you as to your options based on your particular circumstances.
Lack of Jurisdiction
Finally, some cases might be dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. An attorney can look into various types of jurisdictional issues for you. For one, the defendant must be charged in the same county in which the crime allegedly occurred.
Then there is subject matter jurisdiction, which ensures that the right kinds of cases are held in the right kinds of courts. Other jurisdictional issues deal with statute of limitations. If you feel there may be a jurisdictional issue with your case, contact a local attorney so that they can best advise you and file a motion to dismiss if possible.
When in Doubt, Contact an Attorney
If you find yourself facing criminal charges, it is wise to reach out to a reputable criminal defense attorney in your area. An experienced attorney will be able to exhaust every avenue possible to have your case dismissed. Many law firms offer a free initial consultation, so it won’t hurt your pocket to reach out for help.
Contact the Dayton Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC for help today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Dayton
130 W. 2nd Street, Suite 310
Dayton, OH 45402