When Can Criminal Charges Be Dropped in North Carolina?

By Joel Hancock

When you’ve been charged with a crime it can be an extremely overwhelming time. You want to prove that you are not guilty, but you’ve probably spent a lot of time wishing the situation would go away entirely. And sometimes, it does. The best outcome – regardless of the seriousness of the accusations against you – would be for the charges to be dropped before you ever go to trial. The good news is that this can occur. 

The Prosecutor Holds the Power 

The only person who has the power to voluntarily dismiss your criminal charge is the prosecutor. When you are charged with a crime, you are actually being prosecuted by the state of North Carolina. The prosecutor will take a number of factors into consideration when making their decision. Here are reasons why your charges may be dropped or dismissed in North Carolina:

  • The prosecutor knows that based on the facts the elements required to prove the crime cannot be proven to standard necessary: beyond a reasonable doubt;
  • The witnesses who would help to prove the case are either unavailable or refuse to appear in court;
  • The police infringed upon your constitutional rights when they conducted their investigation (e.g. unreasonable search and seizure of your property, lack of Miranda warning while interrogated under custody, etc.); 
  • Your attorney negotiated on your behalf for a dismissal of your case in exchange for treatment, assessment, or community service. It’s important to note that generally this does not involve the judge. 

Refrain from Contacting Witnesses or Alleged Victims During Your Case

Remember that you should never contact the state’s witnesses or any alleged victims to discuss your case. This is because you want to avoid the appearance of being coercive or threatening. Rather, it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney in North Carolina who has experience negotiating with the District Attorney and Assistant District Attorneys. He or she will work in your best interest to have your charges dismissed or reduced. 

The Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Help Those in North Carolina Whose Child Has Been Charged with a Crime

It can be incredibly scary to learn that you are accused of a crime and are going to be prosecuted under the criminal justice system. Not only the outcome of the case, but the experience itself can have a major impact on you. That is why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you to fight these charges and obtain the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.