The idea of fighting back against criminal charges intimidates many people. Most people in Idaho would prefer to avoid the time and stress involved in navigating a full criminal trial, but pleading guilty is not necessarily the right solution either. Doing so means that someone will inevitably incur a criminal record and will be subject to the penalties imposed by a judge.
Still, the idea of spending months waiting for a trial and possibly weeks in court can make people rather nervous. One of the possible strategies that can minimize someone’s time in court and eliminate criminal penalties involves seeking the dismissal of criminal charges. Looking at the state’s evidence can sometimes help a lawyer negotiate the dismissal of pending criminal charges.
Not all evidence is useful during a trial
Police officers generally need to follow best practices when investigating a crime, questioning an individual or conducting searches. Violations of the law or of a defendant’s civil rights could affect whether the evidence they gathered will hold up in court.
Attorneys can sometimes invoke the exclusionary rule before or during a trial to convince a judge that the prosecutor should not present certain evidence. For example, a confession obtained after someone’s arrest when they did not receive notice of their Miranda Rights could be subject to exclusion from a criminal trial. Evidence found during an illegal search could also be vulnerable to challenges made using the exclusionary rule.
If a judge agrees with a defense attorney’s claim that the use of certain evidence is a violation of someone’s rights, that can drastically influence the strength of the state’s case. Sometimes, prosecutors will need to dismiss the charges against an individual after setting aside certain evidence. In drunk driving cases, for example, excluding breath test or field sobriety test results because of misconduct might mean that the state has no evidence to present whatsoever.
Looking into every possible defense option, including seeking the dismissal of charges, can help people to potentially minimize the consequences of a recent arrest.