How to Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date (Do This Immediately)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Criminal Records | May 4, 2022

Knowing how to get charges dropped before court date can be beneficial because dropped charges, unlike some dismissed charges and pending charges, can be removed from background check information, in some cases.

This means that when a background check is performed, these charges won’t show up because they are removed from criminal records.

Not to mention that having charges dropped means that there won’t be fines or potential jail time to worry about (and no probation that shows up on background checks to cause further issues).

But, before anyone can find out how to get charges dropped before they end up in court, they first need to do the following as soon as possible:

  1. Check for charges online to see whether the charges have been officially filed
  2. Find out where they have been filed
  3. Learn the type of charges that have been filed
  4. Check how they were processed

Doing this will make sure that no information was filed in the courts incorrectly and give a full picture of the charges. The more information gained, the better a lawyer can help to get charges dropped (or even get them dropped without a lawyer in some cases).

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A background check service can do this swiftly, but users may also run a background check on themselves.

For example, some charges are filed at the state level, while others are filed locally at the county level (like if someone pressed charges against you). Likewise, federally filed charges operate using different procedures.

Therefore, the very first step in knowing how to get charges dropped before court date appearances is to check for charges against at the local, state, and federal levels.

To check for pending charges, pending arrests, or how to check for indictments against you, the process involves simply searching online court resources.

Screenshot of Delaware family court guide to dismissals which can also be used when learning how to get charges dropped before court date on reckless driving

By verifying the charges immediately, there are some techniques that can be applied to help get the charges dropped before the case goes to court.

How to Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date Based on Crime

Once the charges have been verified, users can try to following techniques to get those charges dropped. Although different crimes require different approaches, some methods to drop charges can be applied to any crime. The following information examines some of the most common methods.

How To Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date: Reckless Driving

Having the charges dropped before a reckless driving charge is recorded, can be a matter of simply showing the judge that the charges were taken seriously, steps include:

  • Driver’s classes: For those who have had multiple driving or speeding tickets in the past, attending driving classes or taking an online driving course will improve safety and influence the judge that the driver is making a responsible decision. Plus, taking driver’s classes can help reduce charges and sentencing after the initial court case has already occurred.
  • Vehicle Calibration: Have the car’s speedometer checked, to ensure that recent changes to tires or other upgrades haven’t impacted it. If the calibration is incorrect, it may help in getting the charges dropped.1
  • GPS Data: GPS data can show how fast a car was traveling within a specific timeframe, allowing drivers to prove they were abiding by the posted speed limit by discrediting the officer’s speed trap or speeding claim.2
  • Witnesses: Witnesses of the ‘reckless’ driving or speeding incident can help prove a person innocent before the trial begins. If a charge is related to driving misconduct, such as endangering another person or reckless driving, real-life witness testimonials could potentially be used to drop a case.
  • Hidden Signs: Obscure signage on the road can result in the speeding charges being dropped.

How To Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date: Shoplifting Charges

Knowing how to get shoplifting charges and other misdemeanors dropped can be time-consuming, but the following methods can potentially do the trick.

  • Lack of probable cause: One of the most common ways to get shoplifting charges dropped before a court date is to show no probable cause for arrest. A police officer is not legally allowed to arrest a person or take them into custody based on biases, judgments, or non-proven methods.
  • Mistakes during a complaint: If a complaint was filed, but the arresting officer did not do their due diligence in error or omission, this can work in favor of having the charges dropped.
  • Not enough evidence: Insufficient evidence makes it impossible for the prosecutor to have a factual basis for a shoplifting arrest.
  • Unavailable witnesses: If a witness saw the shoplifting take place but cannot attend the trial, this can be grounds for getting charges dropped.
  • Discretion: Prosecutorial discretion can drop charges if it is a person’s first crime and there are no other marks on their record, the prosecutor may give them a second chance.3 Plus, judges may ask the accused to attend classes or take courses to show their remorse — if the accused does this, there is a high chance that charges will be dropped.4

How To Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date: Wildlife And Fisheries Charges

Citizens are compelled to abide by the state laws and regulations regarding hunting, fishing, and trapping.

Screenshot of the Pennsylvania legal code that outlines how to get charges dropped before court date for assault.

Violating wildlife and fishing rules can result in misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the specific state. For example, in Michigan, hunting and fishing regulations are misdemeanors. In Washington, unlawful hunting of big game in the first degree is a felony with a jail sentence of 5 years.

Individuals can get their charges dropped by proving the charges occurred in a non-member state or the charges are false. Anyone charged with violating rules regarding wildlife and fishing should hire an attorney to help get the charges dropped or represent them in court. 6

Some of the most common violations of wildlife and fishing regulations involve unlawful hunting of big game, hunting without a license, illegally taking an animal, operating a motorboat in a reckless manner, or taking a wild animal or bird without having procured a hunting license.

How To Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date: Assault

Some of the most common reasons prosecutors or courts can dismiss (or drop) assault charges are insufficient evidence, unavailable witnesses, or illegal tactics of gaining evidence.7

Before the trial begins, hiring a professional defense lawyer can help increase the likelihood of having charges dropped. This defense lawyer can create an argument that the prosecution’s case will not succeed at trial. If the defense lawyer makes this argument and the prosecution does not refute it, this can lead to dropped charges.

In addition, the victim of assault may choose to drop charges to avoid any issues in the future or take back a false claim. Victims will sometimes decide they no longer want to press charges if they are afraid of the person accused, want to maintain a positive relationship with the accused, or realize they identified the wrong individual.8

Furthermore, a prosecutor can drop the charges in a criminal case regarding assault if:

  • A victim chooses to drop the charges.
  • Credible witnesses refute the original witness’ story.
  • The defense weakened the prosecution’s case.
  • Physical evidence is weak.
  • New evidence shows the accused is innocent.
  • The prosecutor drops more severe charges in exchange for lesser charges

How To Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date: Theft

One of the main ways a person can have the charges dropped is if the court suppresses the evidence gathered against the accused.9 The evidence may be suppressed for one of the following reasons:

  • Illegal search: The police must have a search warrant to search an individual’s property or person. Any items or evidence gathered without a warrant is unlawful.
  • Coerced confession: A confession that was coerced or instigated is not admissible in a court of law. Coercion refers to either manipulation tactics (depriving of food and water), assault, threats, or withholding legal counsel).
  • Defective arrest: If the police did not have enough evidence to support the charges against the accused, the prosecution may dismiss the charges.
  • Exculpatory evidence: Exculpatory evidence can confirm a person’s alibi or incriminate another person in the crime.

How to Get Charges Dropped in Any State

Learn how to get charges dropped before court date with the following links:

How to get charges dropped before court date by StateCriminal Legislation
How to get charges dropped before court date in AlabamaAlabama Rules of Civil Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in AlaskaSteps in an Adult Criminal Case
How to get charges dropped before court date in ArizonaDismissal of Actions
How to get charges dropped before court date in ArkansasDismissal of Actions
How to get charges dropped before court date in CaliforniaDismiss a Civil Case
How to get charges dropped before court date in ColoradoDismissal of Actions
How to get charges dropped before court date in DelawareDismissals
How to get charges dropped before court date in Florida2021 Florida Statutes
How to get charges dropped before court date in GeorgiaResolving Your Dispute
How to get charges dropped before court date in HawaiiHawaii Revised Statutes
How to get charges dropped before court date in IdahoDismissal by the Court
How to get charges dropped before court date in IllinoisIllinois General Assembly
How to get charges dropped before court date in IndianaIndiana Rules of Trial Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in IowaRules of Civil Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in KansasLegislative Sessions
How to get charges dropped before court date in KentuckyExpungement of criminal records
How to get charges dropped before court date in LouisianaLouisiana State Legislature
How to get charges dropped before court date in MaineThe Maine Rules of Civil Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in MarylandLaws – Statute Text
How to get charges dropped before court date in MassachusettsDismissal of actions
How to get charges dropped before court date in MichiganMichigan Court Rules 
How to get charges dropped before court date in MinnesotaMN Court Rules
How to get charges dropped before court date in MississippiRules of Civil Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in MissouriRevised Statutes of Missouri
How to get charges dropped before court date in MontanaDismissal of Actions
How to get charges dropped before court date in NebraskaMotion to Dismiss
How to get charges dropped before court date in NevadaNevada Rules of Civil Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in New HampshireRules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire
How to get charges dropped before court date in New JerseyDismissal NJ Courts
How to get charges dropped before court date in New MexicoNew Mexico Courts
How to get charges dropped before court date in New YorkStatute of Limitations
How to get charges dropped before court date in North CarolinaDismissal of actions
How to get charges dropped before court date in North DakotaDismissal of actions
How to get charges dropped before court date in OhioOhio Public Defender Commission
How to get charges dropped before court date in OklahomaOklahoma Statutes Title 12 Civil Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in OregonForms Center State of Oregon
How to get charges dropped before court date in PennsylvaniaMotion for Dismissal
How to get charges dropped before court date in Rhode IslandDismissal Under Criminal Rule
How to get charges dropped before court date in South CarolinaSouth Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated
How to get charges dropped before court date in South DakotaSD Law Help
How to get charges dropped before court date in TennesseeInvoluntary Dismissal
How to get charges dropped before court date in TexasCode of Criminal Procedure
How to get charges dropped before court date in UtahAsking to Dismiss a Civil Case
How to get charges dropped before court date in VermontVermont Laws
How to get charges dropped before court date in VirginiaVirginia Law
How to get charges dropped before court date in WashingtonCivil Rule 41 Washington State Courts
How to get charges dropped before court date in West VirginiaWest Virginia Judiciary
How to get charges dropped before court date in WisconsinWisconsin Legislature
How to get charges dropped before court date in WyomingWyoming Legislature

Signs That A Criminal Case is Weak

Understanding the glaring signals a criminal case is weak can help a person who was falsely accused work with their legal counselor to have charges dropped or dismissed before the court date, these include:10

Kansas legislatuive statute screenshot outlining signs that a criminal case is weak, and how to get charges dropped before court date wildlife and fisheries charges.

  • Faulty arrest: If a person was arrested by law enforcement without any evidence or legal reasons, this is not enough probable cause to arrest and hold them.
  • Loopholes: Any mistakes made during or before the trial can help the defense attorney’s case to drop the charges.
  • Lack of evidence: There has to be sufficient evidence to arrest the person suspected of the crime and proof that the person was guilty of the crime before the court date. If the prosecutor cannot present enough evidence to the jury, the case could be dropped.
  • Non-credible witnesses: Another sign of a weak criminal case is a non-credible witness. If there are no witnesses present, this can work against the case.
  • Lost evidence: In addition to the lack of credible witnesses, lost evidence can cause concern. Fingerprints, DNA records, or photos of what occurred can help in a person’s criminal case conviction. However, lack of sufficient evidence is typically grounds for dismissal.

Signs Your Case Will Be Dismissed (On What Grounds Can A Case Be Dismissed?)

There are many signs that a case may be dismissed before court occurs.11 The most common grounds to dismiss a criminal case involves the following:

Screenshot of TN Court involuntary dismissal law that can be used to learn how to get charges dropped before court date shoplifting charges or other violations.

  • Unreliable witness for the Prosecution: If a person has been proved wrong by the defendant, this is cause for dismissal. Questioning the validity and reliability of the witness can create a faulty case.
  • Contact from the Prosecuting Attorney: Unlawful contact from the opposing side can lead to case dismissal.
  • Violation of Speedy Trial:  A trial must start within a certain time frame to be considered a ‘speedy trial’. If this time frame is not followed, it can cause grounds for dismissal.
  • Failing to say the Miranda Rights: If a law enforcement officer does not state the Miranda Rights to a person during arrest, this is a common cause for charges to be dismissed.

How to Get a Prosecutor to Drop Charges

Defense attorneys can get a prosecutor to drop charges by honing in on mistakes made in the case or issues in the evidence.

Since prosecutors typically are juggling multiple cases simultaneously, they simply may not have time to research the case or work on every issue that comes across the pile on their desk.

Newly-found evidence can cause immediate dismissal of the charge brought against a client. Other reasons include illegal search, illegal stop, or improper criminal complaints.12

Understanding the process of getting charges dropped before court date is essential to avoiding jail time, avoiding any marks on a background check, and avoiding the hassle of going to court.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Get Charged Dropped before Court Date

What Happens If Charges Are Dropped Before Court?

If charges are dropped before the court date even occurs, the person charged with the crime will not have to appear in court to face them. If a person is currently detained in jail, they are now free to go. However, a prosecutor can bring up the charges at a later date. 13

Can Charges Be Dropped Before Court?

Charges can be dropped before the court after being decided upon by the prosecutor persecuting the accused. If the prosecutor finds new evidence or does not have enough to charge the person in the first place, this can drop the case before the trial begins. 14

On What Grounds Can A Case Be Dismissed?

A case can only be dismissed if there was no probable cause of arrest, an illegal search or seizure, failing to state the Miranda Rights, insufficient evidence, mistakes in the criminal complaint, or an unavailable witness. 15

Do Dropped Charges Show Up on a Background Check?

Dropped charges can show up on a background check, but the information largely depends on the state where the check is run, and whether the check is being done by a federal agency for a government job. In the case of a government job, typically even dropped charges will show up. However, many states prohibit dropped charges and other charges that didn’t result in a conviction from being included in a background check.

Can Dropped Charges be Erased from the Record?

Yes, many states have laws in place that allow people to remove dropped charges from the record using an expungement process.


References

1How to Help Your Lawyer Get a Reckless Driving Charge Dismissed or Reduced. Nova Defenders. Retrieved from <https://www.novadefenders.com/how-to-help-your-lawyer-get-a-reckless-driving-charge-dismissed.html>

2How to Get a Reckless Driving Ticket Dismissed. Lawrence. Retrieved from <https://lawrina.com/blog/how-to-get-a-reckless-driving-ticket-dismissed/>

3Baldwin, L. Getting a Criminal Charge Dismissed. Criminal Defense Lawyer. Retrieved from <https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/criminal-defense-case/charge-dimissal-court.htm>

4How to Get Shoplifting Charges Dismissed. Criminal Court NJ. Retrieved from <https://www.criminalcourtnj.com/blog/how-to-get-shoplifting-charges-dismissed/>

5Wildlife, Hunting & Fishing Violations. Weeden Law. Retrieved from <https://www.weedenlaw.com/criminal-defense/wildlife-hunting-fishing-violations/>

6Florida Fishing and Wildlife Violations. Sammis Law Firm. Retrieved from <https://criminaldefenseattorneytampa.com/fwc-violations/>

7Reasons Why Criminal Charges are Dropped or Dismissed. Neal Davis Law Firm. Retrieved from <https://www.nealdavislaw.com/criminal-defense-guides/criminal-charges-dropped-dismissed.html>

8Dropping Charges in Criminal Cases. Sevens Legal. Retrieved from <https://www.sevenslegal.com/blog/dropping-charges-criminal-cases/522/>

9Rodriguez, A. (2011). These Are The Easiest Ways to Get Your Criminal Case Dismissed. The Rodriguez Law Group. Retrieved from <https://www.aerlawgroup.com/blog/these-are-the-easiest-ways-to-get-your-criminal-case-dismissed/>

10Signs That a Criminal Case is Weak. Tony Merchant and Associates. Retrieved from <https://tonymerchant.com/signs-that-a-criminal-case-is-weak/>

116 Common Ways You May be able to Get Charges Against You Dismissed. Easley Law Firm. Retrieved from <http://www.easleyfirm.com/library/6-grounds-to-get-the-charges-against-you-dismissed.cfm>

12How to Convince a Prosecutor to Drop Charges. Baldani Law. Retrieved from <https://baldanilaw.com/convince-prosecutor-drop-charges/>

13What’s the Difference between Charges Being Dropped or Dismissed. (2021). Marchiano Law Corp. Retrieved from <https://www.marchianolawcorp.com/whats-the-difference-between-charges-being-dropped-or-dismissed/>

14Charges Dropped vs. Charges Dismissed. Kretzer & Volberding. Retrieved from <https://kretzerfirm.com/charges-dropped-vs-charges-dismissed/>

15Criminal Law. (2020). On What Grounds Can a Case be Dismissed? Cofer Luster Law Firm. Retrieved from <https://coferluster.com/on-what-grounds-can-a-case-be-dismissed/>