The American public has been conditioned by television and movies to think that dropping the charges in a criminal case is a simple process. The truth is that dropping the charges in a criminal case is not as simple as it seems, and it might even involve the plaintiff standing before the court explaining why they are dropping the charges. The process itself is not complicated, but getting a court to understand why you would want charges dropped can be a process.
How Charges In A Criminal Case Work
When arrests are made in a criminal case, there are usually two parties involved; the defendant and the plaintiff. The district attorney is the one who ultimately decides if charges are going to be brought against the defendant and what those charges will be. In more significant cases, there is usually a grand jury that recommends bringing charges or not. But in most cases, the district attorney makes that determination on their own.
Once charges are brought, the victim becomes the plaintiff along with the district attorney’s office, and the person who committed the crime becomes the defendant. The district attorney will want to move forward as quickly as possible to try the case and get a verdict. If the defendant wants to have the charges dropped, they must act quickly.
Getting Charges Dropped
The place a plaintiff will have to go to start the process of dropping charges is their local police department. They will need to bring the police report for their case and their photo identification to the police department where they will be asked to fill out a affidavit to drop charges. The police will witness the document and send it on to the district attorney.
The process of dropping charges is orchestrated by the district attorney. The plaintiff will normally be asked to meet with the district attorney to explain the drop charges affidavit and the plaintiff will have to sign a statement saying that they are not being forced by the defendant to drop the charges.
The district attorney will ask the courts to convene a special session to put the plaintiff on the stand to explain why they are dropping the charges. The court will then decide whether or not it will honor the request. In most cases, if there is no foul play found, the request is accepted.
It is important to remember that submitting a false affidavit to the district attorney or lying to the court are both serious crimes. If you are going to ask a court to drop the charges in a criminal case, then you need to make sure that you have your facts straight and you tell the story in an honest and straightforward way.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!