6 Telling Signs That Your Criminal Case Will Be Dismissed


When you are facing criminal charges in Minnesota, it can be an incredibly stressful and uncertain time. As a defendant, you may wonder if the prosecutor has a strong enough case against you to secure a conviction at trial.

The good news is that signs often indicate the prosecution’s case is weak and could potentially lead to your charges being dismissed.

As experienced defense attorneys, we have handled hundreds of criminal cases and identified key signals that the state lacks sufficient evidence or legal basis to move forward.

Here are the six most common signs that your Minnesota criminal case is weak and could potentially be dismissed:

1. Lack of Sufficient Evidence

For a criminal conviction in Minnesota, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the evidence against you is limited or circumstantial, it suggests a weak case.

Perhaps the prosecution lacks credible witnesses to the alleged crime or key physical evidence like DNA. The prosecutor cannot meet their burden of proof for a guilty verdict with insufficient evidence.

Your criminal defense attorney can file pre-trial motions challenging the sufficiency of the evidence and requesting the dismissal of charges. The case could be dismissed if the judge agrees the evidence is too weak.

2. Illegally Obtained or Inadmissible Evidence

Under the 4th Amendment, evidence obtained through an illegal search or seizure cannot be used to prosecute you. If police violated your rights by searching you or your property without consent or a valid warrant, any resulting evidence is inadmissible.

Your attorney can file a motion to suppress, excluding tainted evidence from trial. Without that key evidence, the prosecutor’s case will crumble, often resulting in dismissal.

3. Lack of Probable Cause for Your Arrest

For any arrest to be lawful, police must have probable cause you committed a crime. Probable cause means police have sufficient facts and evidence to believe you committed the offense reasonably.

Any resulting charges could be dismissed if your arrest was made without probable cause. Your attorney can challenge the grounds for your arrest and any evidence stemming from it.

4. Mistakes or Errors in the Criminal Complaint

The criminal complaint filed by the police outlines the charges and factual allegations against you. If factual errors exist or you are charged under the wrong criminal statute, it can invalidate the complaint.

Your attorney can leverage these mistakes in a motion to dismiss. Prosecutors may drop a weak case rather than re-file an amended complaint.

5. No Witnesses

The prosecutor’s case often relies heavily on witness testimony to establish critical facts. Police officers describe evidence collection, while civilian witnesses recount observations tying defendants to alleged crimes. Without these firsthand accounts, cases wither.

These witness issues leave prosecutors with glaring evidentiary gaps that courts recognize. Thus, motions to dismiss are often granted.

6. Extenuating Circumstances

Even when the evidence seems strong, the prosecutor may dismiss charges due to extenuating circumstances. For example, if the crime was relatively minor and you have no prior record, the prosecutor may drop the case to avoid negatively impacting your future.

Prosecutors also consider how a conviction would impact not just you but your family and community. If the harm seems disproportionate to the offense, they may exercise discretion and dismiss the charges, especially for first-time juvenile offenders.

Don’t Wait – Contact Our Defense Attorneys Today to Inspect for Fatal Flaws

If you face criminal allegations, the prosecution likely hopes you’ll cave to pressure and accept convictions as inevitable. Many scared defendants do.

But as local defense attorneys, we know prosecutors often hide shaky evidence behind dramatic threats meant to intimidate.

We don’t scare easy.

Let our team scrutinize every crevice of your case for signs their blustery attacks will ultimately backfire and crumble. We rescue the innocent and courageous.

Where we discover constitutional violations, unreliable witnesses, and other extinction-level weaknesses, we exploit them aggressively through motions to dismiss.

Don’t buy into their rhetoric when your life hangs in the balance. Let us evaluate if their evidence will even support inflated allegations. Contact us today for a consultation.

Author Bio

Xavier Martine

Xavier Martine is the Founder of Martine Law, a Minnesota criminal defense and family law firm. Serving clients in Minneapolis, MN, and surrounding areas, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of criminal matters, including DWIs, drug charges, misdemeanors, domestic violence, and other criminal charges. He also represents clients in family law matters, including divorce, child support, and child custody.

Xavier received his Juris Doctor from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named among the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys Under 40 in Minnesota” in 2021 by The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He was also named the “Best DUI Lawyer in Minneapolis” award in 2023 by Expertise.com and a “Rising Star” in 2023 by SuperLawyers.

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