Dropping Charges in Criminal Cases

If you find yourself facing criminal charges, it’s normal to seek out avenues that could result in your charges being dropped. After all, exploring these possibilities might mean dodging serious legal repercussions. So what does it mean to have charges dropped, and how does this happen? It’s helpful to understand this as well as some of the common myths surrounding this matter. 

What Does It Mean To Have Charges Dropped?

Having charges dropped means the prosecutor or other law enforcement officials decide to discontinue or withdraw the criminal charges against you. The terminology might vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; it might be “dropped,” “dismissed,” or even “withdrawn.” Regardless of the term used, the core idea remains consistent: the prosecution discontinues its case.

The Most Common Myth: The Victim Can Drop Charges

Perhaps one of the most pervasive misconceptions about criminal law is the belief that a victim or complainant has the power to drop the charges. This idea likely stems from television dramas and anecdotal stories, but in reality, things are much different.

It’s the prosecutor who has the power to drop charges – not the alleged victim. Even if a complainant requests that charges be withdrawn, prosecutors may still proceed. They make these decisions considering several factors, like the severity of crimes and available evidence. For example, a minor domestic dispute may be withdrawn at the victim’s request.

While victims can express their desire for charges to be dropped and share valuable insight into relevant circumstances surrounding the case, legal authority rests solely with the prosecution.

Victims Can Make the Case Difficult For Prosecutors 

Although the decision to drop charges isn’t within a victim’s purview, their actions can significantly impact the prosecution’s case.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Law Firm – Manosh Payette, LLC

For more information, please contact the Providence Criminal defense law firm of Manosh Payette, LLC for a free consultation, give us a call at 401-854-7794 or visit our convenient location:

Manosh Payette, LLC – Providence Criminal Defense Attorney
101 Dyer St Suite 2D,
Providence, RI 02903, United States