Dismissal of Charges
When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, he or she may think the next step would include going to trial. However, not every person facing criminal charges will proceed to trial or have to enter a plea. Instead, some can fight to have the charges dismissed.
When charges are dismissed in a criminal case it is a decision of a court, which has used its judgment prior to trial or before a verdict is reached, that terminates the proceedings against the defendant. State and federal rules of Criminal Procedure dictate how dismissals are obtained and administered.
St. Petersburg Dismissal of Charges Attorney
Having a criminal record can be a burden that could affect the rest of your life, including your ability to find a job or even to find housing. Call Morris Law Firm, P.A. and actively fight to have your criminal charges dismissed. A charge does not have to mean a conviction, and the legal team can help you fight to keep your record clean.
We will strive to file any necessary motions to dismiss or motions to attempt to exclude evidence in an effort to maximize your opportunity for a positive outcome. As your criminal defense lawyers, we will represent you at any necessary pre-trial hearings, pre-trial motions and at trial.
Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas County, Tampa, Hillsborough County and other surrounding counties. We understand what it takes to negotiate on your behalf and get a favorable outcome in your case. Call (727) 388-4736 to schedule a free consultation about getting your charges dismissed.
Information About Getting Charges Dismissed
- Why Are Dismissals Granted?
- How Do I Get My Charges Dismissed?
- Are Dismissed Charges Expunged or Sealed?
Dismissals in criminal prosecutions are granted for a wide variety of reasons. A St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can work with you to determine if there are grounds in which the case could be dismissed. Some instances in which a case could be dismissed include:
- Insufficient Evidence
- Lack of probable cause for an arrest
- Investigative mistakes by law enforcement
- Victim recantation
- Failure to read Miranda Warnings
- Violation of constitutional rights
- Improper search or seizure
Especially with first-time offenders, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have no formal criminal charge filed. This means you only will have an arrest record, rather than a criminal record. You will not have a formal criminal charge, and you will be eligible to have your arrest record expunged.
If a formal criminal charge is filed, your attorney may file a motion to dismiss. If this is filed, the judge would make a decision to dismiss the charge based on legal grounds before a trial. In this instance, you also could be eligible to have your criminal record expunged.
Additionally, the judge in your case may dismiss the charges based on your attorney successfully negotiating with the prosecutor and requesting that you complete a Pre-Trial Intervention Program, under Florida Statute Section 948.08 and Section 948.16. You must successfully complete the PTI program in order to have your charges dismissed.
After your charges are dismissed, your criminal charges are not automatically expunged from your record or sealed. Once the sealing or expungement of your Florida criminal record is granted by the court, the dismissal of your felony, misdemeanor or other criminal charge will no longer be available as a public record as it will be sealed or expunged.
When a record is sealed it means it means the physical records are put away in a vault so no one without court order may have access to them. This means your record will not appear in background checks, and after 10 years you could ask the court to expunge it.
When a record is expunged, the record is physically destroyed, with only one copy remaining with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. No agency is allowed to say if a person had a record expunged. This also means it would be removed from background checks.
Finding A Pinellas County Criminal Attorney for Dismissal of Charges
If you are a first-time offender seeking to have your criminal charges dismissed, contact a St. Petersburg first-time offender attorney to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case. Call (727) 388-4736 at (727) 388-4736 to discuss your case directly with an attorney. Fill out our online form to be contacted for a free initial consultaton.