Get Your Criminal Case Dismissed Before Trial

criminal case dismissed - handshake

Get Your Criminal Case Dismissed Before Trial

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Arizona, the first question likely to be on your mind is: “Can I make these charges go away?” As a criminal defense law firm in the Phoenix Valley, Coolidge Law has a record of getting criminal cases dismissed before they even go to trial. If your case goes to trial, there is still a chance you may be able to file a motion to dismiss. 

Pre-File Representation

The most common time when a case will be dismissed is in pre-file representation. 24-hours after an arrest or being held in custody by law enforcement, a suspect-in-question will be required to appear before a judge in court. This is called the initial appearance. In this hearing, the judge determines bail and the conditions for release from jail. 

But it’s the second appearance in court where pre-file representation is essential. During this appearance, the formal indictment, or the official charges that are brought by a Grand Jury, will be filed. At this hearing, your attorney has an opportunity to convince the judge to reduce, or even dismiss, the charges brought against you, before they are ever filed. Once a Grand Jury rules, however, your charges are set in stone.

Voluntary and Involuntary Case Dismissals

A voluntary dismissal of a case is when the prosecuting party–the county prosecutor or district attorney–chooses to dismiss the case. In some situations, a victim may decide that they do not wish to pursue criminal charges, and therefore convince the prosecutor to dismiss the case. 

An involuntary dismissal, on the other hand, is one where the judge terminates a case despite the prosecution’s objection. Most commonly, a defendant will file a motion to dismiss if they believe there is a lack of evidence, improper jurisdiction, a breach of the statute of limitations or if they believe the other party is not complying with a court order. At other times, a judge may invoke the right to dismiss a case when a party to a case is not acting properly or a legal issue arises. 

With or Without Prejudice

Whether a case is dismissed voluntarily or involuntarily, it with always be defined as being dismissed with or without prejudice. Having a case dismissed with or without prejudice has little to do with the definition of the word prejudice. Rather, these legal terms are used to determine if a case can be reopened or will remain permanently closed after it’s dismissal. 

    • A case that is dismissed with prejudice will be closed for good. Generally speaking, this is a win for the defendant. 
    • A case that is dismissed without prejudice may be reopened in the future. 

A Pre-File Lawyer in Arizona

Todd Coolidge has been very successful throughout his career in pre-file representation. On three separate occasions, he has convinced capital review committees from both the Maricopa County and Pinal County Attorney’s Offices not to seek the death penalty in first-degree murder cases. And on other occasions, he has convinced police agencies not to file child molestation charges.

If you or a loved one are being investigated for a crime in Arizona, there is still time to get your charges reduced or have your case dismissed entirely. But first, you need an experienced criminal law specialist on your side. Todd Coolidge has 25 years of courtroom experience and a solid understanding of Arizona law. If you hesitate, you risk being indicted on more severe charges. Schedule your free case review today.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay (8/18/2019)