How to get my criminal case dismissed before my arraignment?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Boston, MA

I had a clerks-magistrate hearing where probable cause was found and I now have an arraignment on felony charges. I feel like not enough evidence was presented against me and the clerk-magistrate was confused so decided to recommend the case anyway. I am in the process of applying for a motions for continuing the arraignment as I obtain a lawyer.

How do I go about speaking to, meeting with the DA assigned to my case before my arraignment to get the case dismissed as I understand a judge has to be involved in a dismissal once I am arraigned. The court has yet to see any evidence or hear my side of the story since I wasn't even interviewed by the police detectives they just took the "victims word" and evidence to pursue.

I feel like the evidence I have will deter the DA from pursuing me.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Dominic L. Pang

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You really should have an attorney speak to the DA's office on your behalf. The fact that the police did not obtain your side of the story will have no impact on the DA's decision to charge or not charge you. The prosecutor is looking to see if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with charges, and this standard is a very low standard. Somebody else claiming you committed the crime is enough to proceed.

    Consider also that a prosecutor may simply not believe the facts you allege in support of your claim of mistaken identity. Speaking directly to the DA gives them a chance to assess your willingness to go to trial - if you seem scared to go to trial, then their offer to plea the case out will not be as good for you, and you will be giving the prosecutor a chance to scare you into taking a plea.

    You should be striving to get this matter dismissed prior to arraignment, as doing so keeps your record clear of the criminal charge. The better way to go about it is to retain en experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can then file an appearance and a motion to continue the arraignment, and assemble a more compelling case to present to the DA that your were mistakenly identified.

    Best of luck,

    Dominic Pang (617-538-1127)

  2. Ann Frances Breau Karpenski

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You need to get a criminal attorney as soon as possible. If you don't know a local criminal attorney, call your local bar association for a referral. Please do not talk with the district attorney, especially without your lawyer present, as anything you say can be used against you. Good Luck!

  3. Ann Frances Breau Karpenski

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You need to get a criminal attorney as soon as possible. If you don't know a local criminal attorney, call your local bar association for a referral. Please do not talk with the district attorney, especially without your lawyer present, as anything you say can be used against you. Good Luck!

  4. James M Lynch

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Prosecutors have some duty to screen out cases from prosecution where the evidence is so thin that there is no hope of conviction. But in cases where it is arguable either way as to what really happened, they properly view their role as being the presenters of the credible evidence supporting the charges and look to the finder of fact - a judge or a jury - to make the ultimate determination of guilt or innocence. If you accept that to be DA's job - and you must - then you will understand what a mistake it is for you to speak to the DA without the benefit of counsel. Defense attorneys' case loads are filled with clients who thought they could talk their way out of the charges.

    The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and is expressly not legal advice. This... more
  5. Kelly A. Broadbent

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . You should retain an attorney as soon as possible. It is not a wise idea to speak with the prosecutor on your own since anything you tell them may later be used against you. Many attorneys allow you to pay in installments or with credit cards. Also, they would be able to request a continuance on your behalf if time is an issue.

  6. Alex Moskovsky

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . You will want to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney before you do anything else. Visting the Assistant District Attorney will not aide your case in any way. In fact it will likely put you in a more vulnerable position. The DA's office will likely use the meeting as an opportunity to assess their chances to take the case to trial, and it will also likely cause some fear on your part. An experienced criminal defense attorney can file a continuance motion on your behalf and in the very least outline a strategic plan for you. The clerk's hearing that ultimately determined probable cause to continue isn't a high standard to meet, therefore consult an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

  7. Atiq R Ahmed

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Please retain a local attorney immediately. Do not contact the "DA" directly. Your attorney will contact the DA on your behalf.

    Since it appears that this is a contested case, it is likely that the DA will initially accept the Complainant's version of the events, and evidence.

    A competent local attoney can conduct an initial analysis, and determine the merits of the DA's case. Based upon this assessment, your attorney can plan a course of action, including a potential dismissal.

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