When facing criminal charges, defendants often hope that their charges are dropped or dismissed. While aggravated assault charges are very serious, it may be possible to get them dropped, depending on your circumstances. Dropping charges is often in the hands of the police and prosecutors on your case. Convincing them to drop aggravated assault charges may be difficult in certain cases.
Aggravated assault charges, like any criminal charges, can be dropped. Charges are usually dropped when prosecutors realize they have very little evidence to support a conviction or when new evidence indicates the defendant should not have been charged in the first place. If charges cannot be dropped, there may be alternative options, like reducing charges through a plea bargain or seeking a dismissal from the judge.
Aggravated assault is a very serious charge. Convicted defendants may face years behind bars. Our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers can hopefully have your charges dropped or otherwise reduced. Contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych for help today. Call (609) 616-4956 for a free legal consultation.
Dropping Aggravated Assault Charges in New Jersey
Dropping aggravated assault charges may be easy or difficult, depending on the circumstances and factors surrounding your case. Charges are usually dropped by prosecutors earlier in the criminal justice process. Talk to our Brigantine criminal defense attorneys about your charges and we can work to get them dropped.
There could be several reasons why prosecutors decide to drop criminal charges. Some of the most common reasons include a lack of evidence or new evidence that indicates the charges are unjust or uncalled for.
Our legal team can work with you to suppress evidence and prevent prosecutors from building a case against you. If the prosecutor’s case is too weak, they may be inclined to drop the charges. Evidence can be suppressed if it is unlawfully seized or otherwise violates your rights. Defense attorneys often file pre-trial motions to suppress evidence. However, we can also communicate with prosecutors about the unlawful evidence and convince them it is easier for all parties involved to just drop the charges from the outset.
In some cases, defendants are wrongly accused, and prosecutors end up charging the wrong person. If we can prove to prosecutors that they have the wrong person, they should drop the charges against you. Prosecutors do not want to waste time taking a clearly innocent person to court. It would also be unethical to charge someone they know could not have done it.
Is it Common for Aggravated Assault Charges to Be Dropped in New Jersey?
While getting aggravated assault charges dropped is legally possible, it is not always realistic or probable. Aggravated assault charges are extremely serious, and prosecutors do not like dropping criminal charges related to violent crimes. Even if the case against you lacks evidence, prosecutors might still attempt to press their luck at trial.
Dropping aggravated assault charges is more likely in unique or exceptional circumstances. For example, if the case against you rides almost entirely on the testimony of one witness, and that witness suddenly refuses to testify or skips town, the entire case against you might fall apart. This situation is more unusual than television or movies leads us to believe, but it is within the realm of possibilities.
Aggravated assault charges are sometimes dropped later in the judicial process. Defense attorneys might get these charges dropped after weeks or even months of working to suppress evidence, discredit witnesses, and find exculpating evidence. Only when prosecutors are given no other option do they consider dropping charges as serious as aggravated assault.
It is more likely that you will end up facing your charges at a trial or possibly having them reduced instead of dropped altogether. In either circumstance, our Cape May criminal defense lawyers are prepared to assist you.
What Happens if My Aggravated Assault Charges Cannot Be Dropped in New Jersey?
If we cannot get your aggravated assault charges dropped, we can pursue other legal options. While prosecutors are often hesitant to drop aggravated assault charges, they might be more open to negotiating a plea bargain. A plea bargain, which is sometimes called a plea deal or plea agreement, involves pleading guilty to reduced charges in exchange for dropping the higher charges. Instead of taking your chances on a trial with aggravated assault charges, you would plead guilty to lesser charges, like simple assault, and face lighter penalties.
It may even be possible to convince prosecutors to reduce your charges without a plea bargain. For example, if the evidence against you is weak, but prosecutors refuse to drop the charges, they may instead reduce them to simple assault charges before continuing with the case. Simple assault is less serious and may be easier to contend with at a trial.
Our New Jersey aggravated assault defense attorneys could also go over the heads of prosecutors and seek a dismissal of charges from the judge. A dismissal comes from a judge and may be ordered “with prejudice” or “without prejudice.” A dismissal without prejudice allows prosecutors to refile the charges later if they wish, potentially after gathering more evidence. A dismissal with prejudice prevents prosecutors from refiling, and you cannot be charged again. If the case is dismissed after a jury has been empaneled, it functions as an “acquittal” and you cannot be charged again.
Remember, just because we cannot get your charges dropped does not mean all hope is lost. Our legal team will work to build a case in your favor and hopefully convince a jury to acquit. In the event of a conviction, we can help you file an appeal and hopefully get you another shot at fighting the charges in court. Call our Haddonfield criminal defense lawyers for help.
Call Our New Jersey Aggravated Assault Defense Attorneys
If we can get your aggravated assault charges dropped, you can avoid harsh penalties. However, our New Jersey aggravated assault defense lawyers can pursue other legal options if necessary. Call (609) 616-4956 to set up a free legal consultation with the team at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych.