Individuals in Pennsylvania facing drug charges may might those charges dropped for several reasons. Some of these reasons are a direct result of a decision from the Supreme Court. A criminal court may also drop drug charges against a defendant when the court finds that a procedural error took place.
A plea deal is the most common reason for a drug charge dismissal. An individual facing two or more criminal charges may be offered the opportunity to have one or more charges dropped in exchange for a plea and negotiated sentence on another case. This type of arrangement saves money for the state and accounts for more than nine out of 10 felony convictions.
Another common reason for the dismissal of drug charges is an improper search of an individual’s person or property. One example is when a routine traffic stop leads to a car search when there is no probable cause for the police officer to believe that anything other than a traffic violation took place. When a search is illegal, any evidence gained through the search could face suppression from the court.
There are also times when police officers are caught shaking down drug dealers and other suspects. When an incident like this occurs, the credibility of all cases involving these officers is in question. It is not uncommon for prosecutors to discontinue the pursuit of a conviction in these cases.
Another reason for the dismissal of pending drug charges is cooperation with authorities. Individuals who are willing to provide information regarding players in the drug trade might have their minor drug charges dropped.
A conviction for a drug-related offense can result in jail time and other damage to the life of an accused person. A person found with drugs that are in their possession or that can be connected to them will need to mount a serious defense to minimize the damage. Individuals facing a criminal court on drug charges may be able to increase their chances of an acceptable outcome by working with a criminal defense attorney.