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I got charged with wrong crime. can i dismiss the whole case?

Richland, WA |

so i got caught with theft in the third for stealing candy. 3 weeks later my charges come in the mail. instead of the charge saying theft in the third, it said illegal issuance of bank checks. i was supposed to have my arraignment hearing on the 7th but since i was in court the judge decided to do it than. after reading the case file he knew that i got charged with wrong crime, so he fixed it on his computer, but i still have those fake charges papers. what should i do?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It sounds like the judge has modified the charges. Not really fake charges, but an error. Not much of a defense. You should consult with a criminal defense attorney in Richland. It is possible the error could be useful, but more likey you need to work out something.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.


  2. Charges can be amended, added or dismissed at his stage. You should, instead, look for legal defenses for your case instead of hoping for a technicality. Simply put, the justice system is not going to dismiss charges against a defendant every time an error is made. Nonetheless, you should consult with a local attorney that will know the laws and procedures in your area.


  3. This is the type of error that can be corrected. If they charged you with something that they couldnt factually support then that charge can be dismissed not the whole case. They can also add new charges as long as they have the evience to back them up. Best to consult with a local criminal lawyer.

    All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website www.reasonabledoubtny.com


  4. The judge can not modify the charges against you. The prosecutor decides what to charge you with and when. You need to fill-out the discovery request form and get a copy of the discovery the prosecutor intends to present at trial. Likely the charges will be amended to reflect the Theft-3, if not, the prosecutor will tell the court it will file an amended charge when you ask the court to dismiss your charges because you actually stole something and didn't write a bad check. The prosecutor can amend the charge anytime up through the end of the State's case in chief at trial. Thus, you're not going to skate on this one. As the other have suggested speaking with a criminal defense attorney, even if it's a qualified public defender to determine your options is probably your best bet. Hopefully once you see the real cost of what that piece of candy will be you'll straighten up and fly right. I hope this helps.

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