Are you concerned that you have a weak criminal case? Criminal cases are tough to deal with when the proof is solid. But in certain cases, the accusations are not good enough to create a strong criminal case.
In fact, less than 10% of the criminal cases end up going to trial, most of them either pleading guilty or being dismissed at that point.
Here are the signs that tell a criminal case is weak and that probably won’t make it to trial, as long as you hire a good criminal defence attorney.
There Was No Probable Cause
Every criminal indictment or charge needs to have probable cause. If attorneys cannot find probable cause upon listening to their clients, then they will present the information to the prosecutors. Various aspects of the defendant’s life will be analyzed, to determine whether they had a reason to commit the crime or not.
Probable cause is needed so that the defendant will not be arrested on a “hunch” or “gut feeling.” An argument, a claim, or a social media post can be used as probable cause. The fact that the person is just “plain creepy,” so to speak, cannot be used as probable cause. This is necessary in order to prevent wrongful arrests of innocent people.
Weak Criminal Case Because of Not Enough Evidence
The law has a saying, “innocent until proven guilty” – and to prove that guilt, the prosecution has to provide enough evidence. Unless you can prove that the accused did it, you are dealing with a dead end.
When reviewing your case, the prosecution will take it in front of the jury board, who will decide whether the case is strong or not. Based on that data, they will determine if there is probable cause and if you should be behind bars. If there is no proof or very little of it, then there is a very good chance the case will be dismissed.
There Were Mistakes in the Criminal Complaint
The legal system, as unfortunate as it may be in some cases, has a lot of loopholes. However, this kind of loophole can make your criminal case look weak, preventing the accused from going to jail. Very often, these loopholes are caused by small, perhaps even unintentional mistakes in the legal complaint.
It takes only a mistake in the name, the date, the address – even the description of the complaint – for the entire case to fall. You may not even know about them, but a good defence lawyer will be able to catch these small details.
If you accuse someone of a crime and build a case against them – a case that falls apart – then all of your efforts will be lost. If you are really unlucky, then the person you just tried to send to jail may even sue you for harassing them.
Lack of Criminal History
Not every criminal case slips because of lack of evidence – the proof may be strong, but when it comes to criminal history, the case is rather weak. For example, if the person that committed a minor crime had no criminal record, the prosecutor may simply decide to drop a case as a result of “extenuating circumstances.”
Take the Bronx, for example, the place that is believed to have the highest crime rate in New York. Major crimes are so common that the prosecution does not bother very much with minor crimes. A smaller crime, such as loitering or trespassing may simply be dropped at the discretion of the prosecution, especially with the help of a good Bronx criminal lawyer.
Weak Criminal Case Because of a Faulty Arrest
There is such a thing as “arrested wrong,” and it may actually cause a case to fall apart. Policemen need to follow a certain procedure when arresting someone. They need official documents such as a warrant, probable cause, proof of the crime and many other things that tell the accused did it.
If the proof wasn’t there or was discovered later, a criminal case can fall simply because of a faulty arrest. It doesn’t matter if the person is actually guilty or not. If they are arrested without the proper steps being taken, then they can walk free as a result of a faulty arrest.
Loss of Evidence of Witnesses Not Showing
For a criminal to be convicted, two very important things are required: physical evidence and witness testimonies. When either of them suddenly goes missing, the prosecution won’t be able to push the case any further. This is especially the case if either of them is crucial in the case.
For example, let’s say that you have been accused of a hit-and-run accident. For those accusations to stand, someone, should have seen you drive the car. If the witness has suddenly decided to change their testimony or simply doesn’t remember seeing you at the wheel, then the case against you is rather weak.
Evidence Obtained Illegally
Criminal investigations have a process, which needs to be respected by the book. No matter how solid that proof may have been, if it was not acquired properly, then it cannot be used. This is because the US Constitution gives every person the right to privacy and be free of a warrantless search.
For example, let’s say that the accused committed a crime, and the weapon they used was on their property. If the police officials snuck in and find the weapon, this would be trespassing. Also, it means that they would have obtained the weapon illegally.
For the evidence to stand, it needs to be obtained using a warrant. Once it has been deemed that the evidence was obtained illegally, the discovery cannot be undone. The prosecution would have to bar that evidence, no matter how good it might be. This is why this evidence is frequently called the “fruit of the poisonous tree.”
Weak Criminal Case Bottom Line
A weak case is not very likely to go to trial – and in certain conditions, charges can be dropped due to small things such as lack of evidence, witness not showing, or no probable cause. A good criminal lawyer should be able to prevent their clients from going to trial.