Getting arrested for any crime can be an overwhelming and stressful experience, no matter if it is a misdemeanor or a felony. Being first introduced to the legal system can be a challenge as you learn the process and discover what happens as you go. Learning that the charges are ultimately dropped can leave you with a lot of questions as you deal with the specifics to your particular case. At Ajua Bail Bonds, we are committed to helping any of our customers understand what to expect during the different stages of your case and offer our continued support even following posting your bail and getting you released from jail. At this time, we would like to help you understand what happens when the charges are dropped, generally speaking.
Drop Charges Meaning
So when the charges are dropped, you may have some questions as to what that entails. Your charges are reliant upon three distinct persons in a criminal case; the victim of the crime, the prosecutor’s office, and more often than not, the arresting officer. The victim has no control if the charges are dropped, but they certainly have the power to press charges. This rule is in place to help the victim avoid blackmailing and prevent pressure or harassment. In some instances the arresting officer can drop the charges depending on the specifics but at the end of the day, the final decision is generally up to the prosecution. As far as your criminal record is concerned, the unfortunate truth is that dropped charges will still appear on your criminal record unless you also received an expungement order. When looking for a job or even to purchase a home, a dropped charge will still look a lot better on paper than a conviction.
If Charges Are Dropped, Does it Stay on Record?
Many people are wondering about the bail bondsman fees when charges are dropped and because the bail bondsman performed a service to initially get you released from jail, the agreed upon fee is still applicable by you are the loved one who posted your bail.
Why Would the Prosecutor Drop Charges Before Trial?
The top most common reasons that a prosecution will drop the charges are listed below and first time offenders are the most likely to have their charges dropped.
1) Lack of Evidence. Prosecutors have the high burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Prosecutors need and want enough evidence to be almost certain that you are guilty, and without enough available evidence, prosecutors are likely to drop the criminal charges.
2) Lack of Resources. Prosecutors deal with a lot more crimes than they can prosecute; with limited resources they pursue the more high priority cases.
3) First Time Offender. Because of different reasons that include the examples listed here, prosecutors may give you a pass if you’re accused of a minor crime and you have no criminal history.
4) Victims/Witnesses Do Not Come Forward. Oftentimes, the victim of the crime later changes his or her mind regarding whether to go after a suspect. Where the prosecutors ultimately make the final decision, the lack of available witnesses, prohibits them from building a solid case.
5) Willingness to Cooperate. Prosecutors may be willing to work out a deal where they drop the criminal charges in return if you are willing to work with prosecutors to help them on other crimes or otherwise be of assistance.