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Can I Have My Case Dismissed?

Can I Have My Case Dismissed? There are several ways that our Tacoma Criminal Defense Lawyers can work to get your case dismissed. These include:

  1. Lack of probable cause: If the police did not have a valid reason to stop, detain or arrest the defendant, the case may be dismissed. This could occur if the police did not have probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a crime.

  2. Insufficient evidence: If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the case may be dismissed. This could occur if key witnesses are not available to testify or if physical evidence is missing or inconclusive.

  3. Violation of defendant's constitutional rights: If the police or prosecution violate the defendant's constitutional rights during the investigation or trial, the case may be dismissed. This could include violations of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, or the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination.

  4. Speedy trial violations: If the prosecution does not bring the defendant to trial within a reasonable amount of time, the case may be dismissed. The time frame for a speedy trial varies depending on the circumstances of the case. It is generally considered a violation of your constitutional speedy trial, closer nine months to a year, rather than a violation of the speedy trial rule which is 60-90 days, that results in a dismissal.

  5. Plea bargaining: A case may be dismissed or reduced in severity if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence.

  6. Pretrial diversion: In certain cases, the prosecution may agree to place the defendant in a diversion program instead of going to trial. This may include programs such as drug or alcohol treatment, community service, or anger management. If the defendant successfully completes the program, the charges may be dismissed.

  7. Knapstad Motion: A motion to dismiss under State v. Knapstad can be brought when the charging document, such as an indictment or information, does not allege facts that constitute a crime. For example, if the charging document alleges a crime that is not recognized by Washington State law or if the charging document does not include all of the elements of the crime, the charge may be dismissed. The prosecution then has to prove that the charging document is sufficient, meaning that it includes all the essential elements of the crime and the defendant's conduct is considered illegal under the state law.

    If the court finds that the charging document is defective, it may dismiss the charge or order that the charging document be amended. However, if the court finds that the charging document is sufficient, the case will proceed.

It's important to note that dismissing a case is generally up to the discretion of the prosecutor, and there is no guaranteed way to get a case dismissed. It's also important to have a lawyer to navigate the legal process and advocate for your rights and best interests.

It's also important to note that even if a case is dismissed, it does not necessarily mean that the arrest or charge will be expunged or sealed from a person's record, and it could still affect a person's background check for employment or housing.

In conclusion, there are several ways that a criminal case can be dismissed in Washington State, including lack of probable cause, insufficient evidence, violation of defendant's constitutional rights, speedy trial violations, plea bargaining and pretrial diversion. However, each case is unique and it's important to have a lawyer to help navigate the legal process and advocate for your rights and best interests.

Client Reviews
I was represented by James White and have been nothing but satisfied with the outcome. Jame is very efficient and eliminates much of the stress that the judicial system can place on an offender. I am very grateful to have such a great attorney and owe him my gratitude for helping me when times were rough. Not only is he professional, but he is also someone you can talk to on a personal level. I highly recommend James White and would undoubtedly use him again in the future. If you are in search of an attorney, do yourself a favor and have the law offices of Smith & White represent you. Mike D.
I contacted James after my charge for reckless endangerment, and right from the start he was informative and reassuring. James worked hard to get me the best possible outcome, and was always very quick to return a call or text. He was straightforward and honest with me about my case, explaining both the good and the bad in a way that was reassuring without being misleading. Overall, I highly recommend Smith and White to anyone who is looking for the most professional representation in their legal matters. Matthew B.
Attorney James White was a beacon of hope for me at a time when my options appeared limited and the likeness of a satisfactory resolution seemed close to nothing. Not only was he able to defend me in a specific sticky situation in which I hired him for, I felt as though he also went above and beyond in efforts to provide me with the best outcome possible. His calm and professional demeanor offered such a great assurance to myself and those I care about around me. I am completely grateful for his service and I most definitely recommend Mr. White. Leyasha J.
Derek Smith guided us through a troubling legal situation with absolute professionalism. This was my first experience with a trial situation and Mr. Smith was able to address all of my questions and concerns in a way that helped address some of the fear I had regarding the legal system. Mr. Smith was highly effective during the trial and the result ended up in our favor. Legal troubles are scary and it was great knowing we had a fantastic legal team on our side to help navigate the somewhat confusing situation. My wife and I emphatically recommend this law firm. Steve B.
Mr. Smith was wonderful to work with. He was professional, knowledgeable and effective!! He takes the time to listen, which is amazing and can be a hard quality to find! He is informative and straight forward, which I truly appreciate! He was quite helpful on another matter that I asked his advise on. Thank you!!! Melika