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5 Effective Ways to Get Felony Charges Dropped

Being charged with a felony crime is no laughing matter – a single felony conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, barring you from many types of employment, the ability to vote or own a firearm, and prohibit you from obtaining a loan for a car or home. However, there are several ways to get a felony dropped. Read below to learn more.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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What are 5 Ways to Get Felony Charges Dropped

Five of the most common ways for defendants to get law enforcement to drop a felony charge are:

1. Insufficient Evidence - Prosecutors may drop a criminal charge if it is found that the evidence against the defendant isn't strong enough. When this occurs, your attorney may be able to intercede with the district attorney and prosecutors, arguing that there is no basis for bringing a formal charge due to insufficient evidence. If charges get filed even with insufficient evidence, your attorney can file a motion of case dismissal.

Read Also: Which Felonies Cannot be Expunged?

2. Demonstrate that Law Enforcement Violated Your Constitutional Rights - The United States Constitution protects you from coercive police tactics, including:

  • The right to be free from self-incrimination
  • The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right to legal representation during interrogations
  • The right to cross-examine the witnesses at a preliminary hearing against you
  • The right to see the evidence against you

A judge can sanction the prosecution for any violation of the above rights. Judges typically sanction the prosecution by excluding the evidence or witness from the trial. Faced with a loss of its evidence, prosecutors may drop the charges.

3. Accept a Plea Agreement - A plea agreement or plea bargain is an agreement whereby the prosecutor provides a concession to the defendant in exchange for a plea of guilt or nolo contendere. This may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to a less severe charge, or to 1 of numerous charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges; or it may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to the original criminal charge in return for a lighter sentence.

4. Cooperate with Prosecutors in Another Case - In some cases, defendants can have their felony dropped in exchange for their help, which may include:

  • Cooperating with law enforcement in gathering evidence against a criminal associate,
  • testifying against someone else in a different case, or
  • “flipping” on a co-defendant

Prosecutors will only drop the felony charges if the defendant has evidence that law enforcement can use against someone else. If done right, the defendant can have their charges dropped after cooperating with law enforcement.

5. Participate in a Pretrial Diversion Program - A pretrial diversion program is an alternative resolution to a criminal case by which defendants can avoid conviction and jail time. The program diverts you out of the criminal justice system and into supervised release or probation. If you complete the diversion program, your felony case will be dismissed.

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