When you are charged with a crime, prosecutors will have to prove their case against you to secure a conviction. In United States courts, there is a presumption of “innocent until proven guilty.” If prosecutors are unable to build a sufficient case, your charges may be dropped or dismissed. Establishing a solid criminal defense strategy can be exceptionally helpful in protecting yourself from severe consequences. Your side of the story can be heard thoroughly in front of the judge and jury. In some cases, your charges may be dropped before you even go to court.
The arrest of a University of Virginia student earlier this year made national headlines. The 20-year-old student was outside a bar when law enforcement officials tackled him and arrested him. The young man was injured and received several stitches as a result of the arrest. The arresting officer said that the student was “very agitated and belligerent” at the time of the incident.
The student faced various misdemeanor charges, including public swearing or intoxication and obstruction of justice without force. The student’s attorney has maintained that the officers did not treat the student appropriately in the situation.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe required state police to investigate the situation shortly after the arrest. All charges facing the student have since been dropped. Interestingly, based on the evidence, the Commonwealth also found that the law enforcement officers involved should not face criminal charges.
While facing criminal charges and allegations can be a frightening experience, cases like this prove that being charged with a crime in no way guarantees a criminal conviction. A criminal defense attorney can help a defendant understand the charges he or she is facing and what proper police conduct should consist of during an arrest.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Chicago student bloodied in Virginia arrest won’t be prosecuted,” Tony Briscoe, June 12, 2015