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Under What Circumstances Can A Judge Dismiss A Criminal Case In Los Angeles?

Believe it or not, there's a number of different circumstances which gives a judge in Los Angeles the opportunity to dismiss a criminal case. One such circumstance is right at the beginning of the case. If the prosecutors file a criminal case in one of the courthouses and they don't really have any facts to support the case, and even if the judge read the police report, they would come to the conclusion that this is not a crime. I don't know why these guys filed this case. Under those circumstances, the judge could dismiss the case.

Filing a Demur and Prosecutorial Misconduct

The vehicle to get this done is called a “demur.” The defense would file the demur. The judge would review whatever documents are available, and then the judge can make the decision to not file the case because this is a circumstance where they don't have any evidence supporting a criminal complaint. They don't' have any evidence supporting these charges.

Another area where I've seen criminal cases dismissed is prosecutorial misconduct. Let's say the prosecutors cheat in some way. They don't turn over some information that they're supposed to. They suborn perjury from a witness. There's all sorts of areas where misconduct can occur through the prosecutors and that can cause a case to be dismissed.

Insufficient Evidence at Preliminary Hearing

Another area where I've seen dismissals occur in criminal cases by way of a judge is after the preliminary hearing. At a preliminary hearing, the judge is going to listen to all of the evidence and then is going to decide.

Did the prosecutors meet every element of each of these charges? And if one of the necessary elements in a criminal charge is not met, it is the judge's duty after preliminary hearing to dismiss those charges. If after the dismissal is granted, there's no charges left, then the case would be dismissed and the person can move on.

Another area that's ripe for a dismissal is after preliminary hearing, the judge refuses to dismiss the charges, the defense can then file what's called a “995 motion” and that's heard by the next judge in the trial court.

Basically, what you're saying to that judge is, they put on the evidence. We challenged the evidence and now all that's remaining in the criminal case is for you to dismiss it because that other judge was wrong. They didn't have enough evidence. We want you to grant our 995 motion, and then the judge in the trial court can dismiss the case also.

Another area, believe it or not, where a judge can dismiss all charges is after the prosecutors put on their case in a jury trial, and before it gets to the defense's case, the defense can file what's called an “1118 motion,” which is a motion saying, the prosecutors put on their testimony.

It's a jury trial. Judge, you now make the decision. They don't have a case here. Don't even let it get to the jury, and if the judge grants the 1118 motion, then the case can be dismissed. Also, if after a jury verdict, a jury finds a defendant not guilty, then that is a circumstance where the judge would then be obligated to dismiss the case and would grant the motion by the defense to dismiss the case.

Also, a prosecutor at any time can say to the judge, you know Your Honor, we are unable to proceed on this case because we do not have the evidence on this case, and therefore, we are unable to proceed and the defense can say to the judge, Your Honor, we're asking the court to dismiss the case and the judge could grant the defense's motion to dismiss the case.

Consult with our Criminal Lawyers

The circumstances by which a criminal case can be dismissed are many, believe it or not, but of course, there's going to have to be some facts and circumstances and a right angle, the only way you're going to get that dismissal in a criminal case if that's what you seek, is through a top-level criminal defense attorney.

That's why I put videos on my website. That's why I talk about these issues on my website. I write all of my own content, because I want people to know what it's going to take to get that dismissal, and when they hire me we're going to do everything we can to get it if that's what the mission is.

For more information on Getting A Criminal Case Dismissed In LA County, a free initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.