Can Your South Carolina Criminal Case Be Dismissed?

The dismissal of a criminal case is one of the most desirable outcomes for a criminal defense attorney in Greenville, SC. Without a dismissal, the defense attorney strives to do all they can to end the case with a verdict of “not guilty” for their client.

There are several signs that could possibly indicate that a case will be dismissed long before it ever needs a verdict – including the proof of an illegal arrest, inadmissible evidence, or mistakes noted within the criminal complaint.

If you are facing charges in the Greenville or Clemson area, contact Boatwright Legal today.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney in Greenville, SC Handles an Illegal Arrest

An illegal arrest occurs when someone is detained by a law enforcement official either beyond their scope of power or without cause. According to the South Carolina law code, the arresting officer must have justified reasoning to support their summons and/or arrest. If they act with disregard for the law or simply do not have the legal authority or jurisdiction, the arrest in general can be considered wrongful or illegal.

In these cases, in addition to having the criminal case dismissed, you may even have grounds for filing a civil lawsuit against the arresting officer. Your defense attorney will analyze the circumstances surrounding your arrest and/or applicable retention to ensure that everything was handled appropriately and authoritatively without exception.

The Role That Evidence Plays in a Criminal Case Dismissal

There are two primary reasons for the evidence within a criminal case leading to its dismissal – either the evidence is inadmissible or insufficient.

Inadmissible Evidence

The admissibility of evidence is crucial in any criminal case. Even a “smoking gun” that could theoretically lead to an automatic conviction can be removed from the prosecutor’s plan if it is proven to be inadmissible.

For instance, Rule 404 indicates that any evidence of other wrongs, crimes, and acts that are not directly connected to the crime in question is inadmissible. There are even certain steps taken in jury cases to ensure that inadmissible evidence is not presented or even suggested to jurors.

criminal defense lawyer

Insufficient Evidence

If there is not enough admissible evidence presented during a criminal case or there are not enough facts presented to a judge or jury to reach a verdict, this could also lead to the dismissal of a criminal case.

An experienced criminal defense attorney in Greenville or Clemson, SC works hard to analyze all the evidence (or lack thereof) to determine if the case has any grounds for dismissal.

What Happens If There Are No Witnesses Available? 

The strength of a criminal case is drastically compromised if the prosecution is not able to produce any key witnesses. For example, a criminal complaint may rest solely on the statement or testimony of at least one key witness who claims to have seen the alleged crime committed by the defendant.

However, the witness may refuse to testify in court or simply cannot be located during the trial. In those cases, it would be very difficult for the prosecutor to prove the defendant’s guilt without the witness – which could lead to a quick dismissal of the case.

Keep in mind that the credibility of a witness could also be called into question during a courtroom trial. A criminal defense attorney will attack any weaknesses, inconsistencies, or discrepancies in a witness’s testimony during the cross-examination.

Examining the Mistakes Made by Law Enforcement 

Another indicator of a possible case dismissal is the discovery of mistakes made by law enforcement. As mentioned, assumptions without justification can lead to wrongful arrests. However, there could be other mistakes made perhaps by the arresting officer that could lead to a dismissal as well.

The defense attorney will examine the content of the police report as a first step. If any errors or mistakes were made by law enforcement, it could potentially lead to the suppression of inaccurate evidence, revisions made to the report, or a complaint filed regarding officer misconduct.

Call a Greenville Criminal Defense Attorney!

Boatwright Legal has experience in handling a wide range of criminal cases, from misdemeanors to felonies. We will fight to get you the best possible outcome, whether it is a dismissal of your charges, a reduction in your sentence, or an acquittal at trial.

Call us today at 864-745-9758 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney!

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