Can I Get My Criminal Case Dropped Even if I Am Guilty?
A common question that gets asked of us is whether a guilty person can get their charges dropped. Sometimes, the person committed the crime and there is proof against them to lead to a conviction. They want to know if there can be leniency because this was their first offense and they are an otherwise good and upstanding person. Our criminal defense attorneys can explain whether this is possible in your case.
The Determinants of Whether or Not You Get Charged
There are three main issues that a prosecutor looks at to determine whether they will decide to charge you. The first component is whether they can prove the elements of the crime. In other words, they do not care whether you are a “good” or “bad” person. They only care about the elements of the crime and whether they can prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. Your personal characteristics or values are not considered.
This is not to say that past behavior does not play a role. Prosecutors will see if you have a prior history or any criminal record. If you do, this could make it easier for them to file a charge as opposed to if you have no prior history, in which case they are more likely to dismiss the charge.
The second component is whether the crime had a victim (such as theft or assault) or was a “victimless” crime, such as drug possession. Assuming the prosecutor could prove the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, they will approach the victim to ask for their input. In 2018, Florida passed what is known as Marsy’s Law, which guarantees that victims have equal rights in criminal proceedings as the accusers. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on the severity of the crime and the victim’s relation to it. The victim’s wishes does have an impact, and can sway whether or not charges are pressed.
The third criterion, that is less likely to be looked at than the first two, is if there are any legal issues that might impact the case. Some examples include police misconduct, problems with witness credibility, or even the current political climate.
What Can a Lawyer Do to Get Charges Dropped?
These factors are out of your control, and none of them have to do with whether you are a good person. Do not fret! You still have options you can exhaust.
You can hire an experienced lawyer to argue why the prosecution has not met the burden of proof, even if you did commit the crime. The attorney might also be able to talk with the victim and see if they can reach a favorable resolution. Lastly, the attorney can expose legal issues and pressure the prosecutor to dismiss the charge.
Call our team now and learn how The Umansky Law Firm could help someone in Florida charged with a crime.