How to Drop Felony Charges Against Someone

By Trudie Longren
Police and prosecutors must agree to drop criminal charges.

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A felony is defined in criminal law as a serious offense. Unlike a misdemeanor, most felonies carry a term of one or more years in prison. Kidnapping, rape, robbery and murder are all examples of felonies. Charges for a felony must be brought against a suspect by the district attorney or prosecutor in a jurisdiction. Although the victim's viewpoint will be considered, the decision to bring charges or drop charges is utimately in the hands of law enforcement and not the victim.

Verify that the charges are still in place. Check with the police or the prosecuting attorney to make sure that the case is going forward.

Ensure that you are able to ask to have the charges dropped. Generally, only the victim can ask for charges to be dropped against the defendant. Other persons do not have standing to make such a request.

Determine the reasons why the felony charges should be dropped. The prosecuting attorney will need a compelling case to drop the charges. For example, if you are certain that the suspect did not commit the crime and have evidence to support that, you are likely to make a convincing case to drop the charges.

Make an appointment to speak with the prosecuting attorney. Meet with the attorney who is bringing the case and give the reasons you believe the felony charge should be dropped. Ask the prosecuting attorney to consult the court about dropping the felony charge.

Await the prosecutor's decision. The prosecutor will have to consult the court. The ultimate decision is with the presiding judge.

About the Author

Trudie Longren began writing in 2008 for legal publications, including the "American Journal of Criminal Law." She has served as a classroom teacher and legal writing professor. Longren holds a bachelor's degree in international politics, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in human rights. She also speaks Spanish and French.

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