How Often Can Criminal Charges Be Dropped, Dismissed Or Reduced?
In the majority of cases I have handled as a defense attorney, I have been able to resolve those cases with reduced charges! Many of my cases have entered diversion where charges can be dismissed after a certain punishment is fulfilled. I have also had numerous cases dismissed outright for lack of evidence or new evidence that changed the complexion of the case. I have taken criminal offenses down to civil offenses, felony offenses down to lower class felony or even misdemeanor offenses and a lot of misdemeanor cases have been entered into diversion or dismissal agreements. The vast majority of the cases I have handled have received some type of resolution that significantly lowered the charges. In the rare case where a deal cannot be worked out, I have gone to trial.
The Impact Of Having A Prior Arrest Or Conviction On A Criminal Case
Sometimes prior arrests, depending on what they were for, can exclude you from diversion programs in certain jurisdictions. Prior convictions, especially prior felony convictions, are problematic. Prior felony convictions typically mean that your new case is prison mandatory if you go to trial and lose. This is where plea negotiations are important in trying to help people with priors. Plea negotiations attempt to avoid lengthy prison terms that could be the result of losing at trial.
A lot of people contact me about getting their prior felony convictions expunged or sealed or removed. In Arizona, the only recourse people have is to get your prior felony conviction, what we call, set aside. That is where the judge that sentenced you, or the judge that now manages that division, reviews the motion that I submit and decides that, “You have completed all of your punishment”, whether it is probation, jail, prison, fines, counseling, community service, whatever it may be, “You have completed it all, you are an upstanding citizen, and this was not in your character and you have not committed any new offenses, so I am going to set aside this conviction.”
From a practical standpoint, a background check would show that the conviction was set aside. It basically means the judge feels like it is no longer appropriate for that conviction to define you, but it never gets completely sealed, erased, or expunged from your record, so there is a difference between Arizona and other states.
For more information on Reduction Or Dismissal Of Criminal Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 456-1982 today.
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