Voluntary Dismissals

Lately, a large percentage of prospective criminal clients have been calling in and asking if we can get their case dismissed. They seem dismayed when I tell them the truth which is: “maybe, but don’t count on it.”

I am not sure why many defendants are suddenly thinking that the prosecutor’s office will just walk away from a case. Perhaps they feel that the prosecutor will “see the light” and just give up. While that does occasionally happen, it is fairly rare. And when it does happen, it usually happens right before the trial begins, as in the day before or the day of.

Even if the facts are weak, many prosecutors will hold out and see if the defendant pleads guilty to something. Many people cave into the pressure and just want to get it over with. The best bet if you are innocent is prepare a vigorous defense and send the message that you are not going down without a fight. Then, and only then, they may decide to save themselves the trouble and their office the money and voluntarily dismiss the case.

But then again, don’t count on it.

Ryan Maesen
Grand Rapids Criminal Attorney