How to Get Charges Dismissed at Preliminary Examination

Lewis & Dickstein P.L.L.C. has achieved another dismissal of felony charges at a preliminary examination. Our ultimate goal is a dismissal in all cases, whenever possible.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Know Your Rights

When a defendant is charged with a felony, they will first be ordered to appear at the district court in the area where the crime allegedly took place for a probable cause conference. At this level, the prosecution must show, by a probable cause standard, that there is sufficient evidence that a finder of fact could find the defendant guilty of the felony. If the prosecutor fails to meet their burden, the judge will order the dismissal of felony charges.

“Probable Cause” is often an easy hurdle for the prosecution to surmount, much lower than the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt required for an eventual conviction. For that reason, defendants often waive their right to a preliminary exam and allow the matter to be “bound over” to circuit court.

Defense Strategy at the Preliminary Examination

At the preliminary examination in Michigan, which is a crucial hearing in felony cases to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial, criminal defense lawyers may employ several strategic defenses when fighting for the dismissal of felony charges:

  • Challenging the Probable Cause: Arguing that the prosecution has not met its burden of showing sufficient evidence to suggest the defendant committed the crime.
  • Cross-Examination of Witnesses: Using thorough cross-examination techniques to find inconsistencies or weaknesses in the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses.
  • Presenting Contradictory Evidence: Introducing evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s case, which may include witness testimony, physical evidence, or expert testimony.
  • Highlighting Lack of Evidence: Pointing out the lack of direct evidence linking the defendant to the crime, including forensic evidence or motive.
  • Arguing Self-Defense or Defense of Others: In cases of alleged violence, asserting that the defendant’s actions were legally justified as self-defense or defense of another person.
  • Questioning the Legality of Evidence Collection: Challenging the admissibility of evidence obtained through illegal searches or seizures, or without proper warrants.
  • Raising Constitutional Violations: Highlighting any violations of the defendant’s constitutional rights during the investigation or arrest process.
  • Utilizing Alibi Defense: Presenting evidence that the defendant was elsewhere at the time the crime was committed and could not have been involved.
  • Arguing Insufficient Identification: Contesting the reliability of eyewitness identification or other methods used to identify the defendant as the perpetrator.
  • Negotiating for Reduced Charges: Working with the prosecution to reduce charges, potentially avoiding the need for a trial or facing less severe penalties.

Each of these strategies requires careful preparation, a deep understanding of the law, and the ability to argue persuasively in court, underscoring the importance of having an experienced criminal defense attorney when fighting for the dismissal of felony charges at the preliminary examination.

Attorney - Michigan - Awards

You Need a Lawyer Who Won’t Quit Fighting for Dismissal of a Felony

Recently, a senior criminal defense attorney from LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. secured a dismissal of a felony for a client at his preliminary exam in district court. The case involved possessing a stolen vehicle, and the attorney correctly ascertained that the prosecution had failed to prove its case. Instead of looking at a felony (and the jail time, fines, court costs, and probation demands that come along with it), the client is currently free from any charges and has maintained his clean record.

Probable Cause Conference

A probable cause conference in Michigan’s district courts is a critical early stage in the felony case process, distinct from a preliminary examination. This conference is a pretrial hearing where the defense and prosecution discuss the case in a less formal setting than a trial or a preliminary examination. The primary goals of a probable cause conference include reviewing the evidence, discussing any plea offers, considering bond conditions, and addressing other pretrial matters. It serves as an opportunity for both sides to negotiate and potentially resolve the case without proceeding to a preliminary examination or trial. Additionally, it allows the defense to gain more information about the prosecution’s case and to argue for the reduction of charges, the dismissal of charges, or changes to bail conditions. This conference is essential for setting the stage for how the case may proceed, including whether it will move forward to a preliminary examination, where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Not Afraid to Win! Fighting for Dismissal of Felony Charges.

To have your best chance of getting charges dismissed at a preliminary examination, you should consider hiring a premier criminal defense law firm like LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. They will look for all opportunities to secure a dismissal at the earliest opportunity, often for reasons you may not have realized exist in your case. If you call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation, we will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. We will find a way to help you and possibly find a way to get your charges dismissed.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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