How to Get Your Criminal Charges Dropped
If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime or your rights were violated during an encounter with the Philadelphia police, you may believe that the prosecutor will be reasonable and that justice will prevail. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Law enforcement and prosecutors often will try to strong-arm you into admitting things you don’t need to discuss in order to help build their case. They may also overwhelm you with multiple charges in order to persuade you to accept a plea agreement for lesser charges. The bottom line is that once the charges are filed, prosecutors are very reluctant to drop them.
If you have been charged with a crime, you need to speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Lauren Wimmer has the experience, knowledge, and skill to get your charges dropped as quickly as possible. To schedule a free consultation with Ms. Wimmer, call Wimmer Criminal Defense Law at 215-712-1212 or contact us online to discuss your case and how we can help
Assert Your Constitutional Rights
If you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s critical to remember that you have rights guaranteed both by the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania State Constitution. These rights are fundamental to ensuring fairness and justice in our criminal justice system. Unfortunately, the police and prosecutors will violate your rights in order to get an easy conviction. Understanding your rights is the first step to protecting yourself from unfair prosecution. Here are some of the rights that you are entitled to if you have been arrested and charged with a crime:
- You have the right to remain silent
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney
- You have the right to know the charges against you
- You have the right to a speedy trial and to be tried by a jury of your peers
- You have the right to a reasonable bail
- You have the right to confront witnesses
In addition to these rights, you cannot be forced to testify against yourself, and you cannot be tried twice for the same crime. A violation of any of these rights may force the prosecution to drop any charges against you.
Challenge Your Arrest
In addition to the rights listed above, the Fourth Amendment also protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally speaking, this means that the police must have probable cause to arrest you and must often have a warrant. If the police did not have probable cause or unlawfully seized evidence without a warrant, an experienced criminal defense attorney can likely get your charges dismissed.
Scrutinize the Evidence
When you’re arrested and charged, the prosecutors will go out of their way to convince you that they have all of the evidence they need. They will tell you that their evidence clearly proves that you are guilty. They want you to believe that their case is open-and-shut, so you should plead guilty and give them your full cooperation. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that these are common tactics used by the prosecution to bully defendants into either pleading guilty or accepting a plea deal when better options are available.
The truth of the matter is that there are often holes in the prosecution’s case. They may be missing critical pieces of evidence needed to prove the charges against you. The evidence may be unclear or open to more than one interpretation. The prosecution’s case may conveniently ignore evidence that does not support the charges or even contradicts their case.
The bottom line is that you should never plead guilty or accept a plea deal without first reviewing and evaluating the evidence that the prosecution has against you. However, you need to know how to get access to their evidence, and which facts will be critical in proving your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to review the evidence and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Identifying holes in the prosecution’s case may lead them to quickly drop your charges.
Challenge the Witnesses
Just as with their tangible evidence, the prosecution is likely to overemphasize the value of the witnesses they have against you. Their witnesses may be testifying against you because they themselves are under threat of criminal prosecution – they are cooperating in order to get a better deal. In other cases, the witness may be biased against you or simply making a false accusation for their own personal motives.
Malicious motives aside, witnesses can also be unreliable. What they think they saw isn’t what they actually saw. They may be mistaken as to simple key facts, even if they seem totally certain as to what they believe they know. You need to challenge the prosecution’s witnesses on every aspect of their testimony. Effective cross-examination is critical.
One of the most effective ways to challenge the prosecution’s witnesses is to interview your own witnesses that can contradict their case. While this does take considerable time and effort, informing the prosecution that you have witnesses that contradict their case on certain key facts can lead to dismissal of your charges.
Hire an Attorney to Mount an Aggressive Criminal Defense
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is one of the most effective ways of getting your charges dropped. Whatever objection you have to the charges against you, the prosecutors often will not take you seriously until you are represented by counsel. Once you have an attorney, the prosecutor knows that their case will be probed for every possible weakness. They know that they will not be able to get an easy conviction or persuade you to accept an unfair plea deal. If the charges against you are unfounded, they are much more likely to drop them once you have hired a criminal defense lawyer.
Facing Criminal Charges? You Need an Aggressive Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need someone on your side fighting for your rights. Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Lauren Wimmer fights for people who have been unfairly charged with crimes they didn’t commit and may be able to get your charges dropped. Call us today at 215-712-1212 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.