How can charges be dropped in a criminal case?

The decision to dismiss a pending a criminal case can be made only by a prosecutor. Prosecutors make independent professional judgments within the bounds of the policies of the District Attorney’s Office as to whether a case merits prosecution.


If the prosecutor decides to file a motion to dismiss a case, the dismissal must be approved by a judge. A victim’s wishes will be considered in the decision to file, try, or dismiss a prosecution. A victim's thoughts are always welcomed by the prosecutor assigned to a case.

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1. What happens when a law enforcement agency files a case with the District Attorneys Office?
2. What happens once a case is indicted?
3. What is a plea bargain and how does the process work to resolve a case?
4. How often are criminal cases disposed of through the plea bargain agreements?
5. How does as a victim fit into the prosecution of a criminal case?
6. How can charges be dropped in a criminal case?
7. Can a witness refuse to testify?
8. What if a defense attorney or private investigator contacts a witness about a case?
9. How long will a witness have to be at the courthouse?
10. When a case goes to trial, who determines if the defendant is guilty or innocent?
11. The defendant has been found guilty, now what?
12. Once the defendant's punishment had been decided, is that the end of the case?
13. Are all cases argued before the appellate court?
14. If the defendant’s conviction is affirmed, may he seek other relief?
15. Do most defendants convicted in a trial appeal their conviction?