Can Criminal Charges be Dropped?

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “The person that called the police doesn’t want to press charges, can I still be prosecuted?”


The prospect of facing criminal charges can lead to anxiety and uncertainty, regardless if the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor. You might think that the only possible outcome is being found guilty or innocent. However, in North Carolina there are additional results for criminal charges. It is important to note that there is no guarantee of any outcome in a criminal charge. Instead, it is helpful to know all of the possible outcomes for your case. Criminal convictions can have life-altering consequences that follow you for years to come. The following are alternatives to a finding of guilt or innocence in a criminal charge.


­chalk-and-eraser-Charlotte-Deferred-prosecution-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Criminal-Lawyer-300x225Deferred Prosecution


One option that might be available to defendants is something called deferred prosecution. Deferred prosecution is just what it sounds like, the prosecutor refraining from prosecuting a defendant for a crime if certain conditions are met. After a specified period of time, the charges will be dismissed. After completing the conditions of the deferred probation, the defendant may be subject to probation, or community supervision, for up to two years. The terms of the deferment can include completing substance abuse classes, treatment for drug or alcohol use, or other treatment programs.


Not every charge is eligible for deferred prosecution, so it is important to speak with your criminal defense attorney about the option. Some misdemeanors, Class H, and Class I felonies are some of the criminal charges that are potentially eligible to be deferred. The agreement is made with the prosecutor about the conditions that must be met. Additional conditions of a defendant being eligible for deferment include:


  • Notifying the victim of the deferment and probation;
  • The defendant cannot have prior convictions for crimes of dishonesty or moral turpitude;
  • A judge determines that the defendant is not likely to commit additional criminal offenses; and
  • The defendant has not previously been on probation or probationary sentence.




Another potential option for criminal defendants is having their criminal record expunged. This involves an individual already having criminal charges on their record, but later having it erased so there it is no longer a part of their history. Much like deferred prosecution, not every crime can be expunged from a record. Expungement eligibility depends on the crime, the age and previous criminal record of the defendant, and other circumstances surrounding the arrest


If you are facing criminal charges, you need a defense attorney who is going to aggressively fight for you. The experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here for your criminal defense needs. We know that facing a criminal charge is anxiety inducing and aim to make the experience as easy as possible. We make sure to explain the charges to you, the options you might have for making agreements prior to trial, and the potential sentences that you could be facing. A criminal conviction can have devastating consequences on your life. In order to combat this possibility, contact the attorneys who give the best chance at success under the circumstances. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.





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