How a charge be dismissed if there is no evidence? 18 Answers as of March 17, 2013

My 16 year old son has been charged with rape, yet there is no evidence that he did it. The court has been searching for evidence and there is nothing. There were no finger prints, no rape kit, and no bruises. How do we dismiss the charges?

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The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq.
The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq. | John J. Carney
You should retain a good lawyer to handle the case. I am sure that there is evidence of the crime as there must have been a supporting deposition signed by the complainant. She ids an eyewitness to the rape. That is probable cause for the arrest and may be enough to convict if the jury believes her. There may be no DNA, injuries, semen, or scientific evidence, but rape is fact specific. Either her story adds up or it does not. If she had a grudge, waited weeks to report it, and had no injuries or signs of intercourse you may be able to win the trial. Look at the Avvo list of criminal lawyers in your city.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/17/2013
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
It is not up to you to dismiss charges. If the prosecutor does not have evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the boy should be discharged and found not guilty, or the charges dropped by the prosecutor.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/13/2013
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
You don't. It will be up to your attorney to have the charges dismissed or tried before a jury.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/13/2013
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
I imagine that they at least have the victim's testimony or statement that he raped her. That is evidence. You may not think that is good evidence or enough evidence (and you maybe correct) but it is evidence nonetheless and they can proceed with her word alone. Whether it's enough to convict or prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is another story. This is a very serious charge and he needs to make sure he has an experienced criminal defense attorney with experience in handling sex crimes on his side. He may be able to file some motions that could get the case dismissed or discourage the prosecutor from pursuing the case.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/12/2013
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Even circumstantial evidence can be used to support a criminal case. this includes statements of a victim or a witness. As a result, the fact that there is no "medical evidence" does not mean there is "no" evidence. You would be wise to retain legal counsel who may review the evidence and file motions challenging whether there is probable cause for the offense.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 3/12/2013
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    If the female who claims she was raped is available to to testify, that testimony is evidence. If believed by the truer of fact, your son can be convicted on her word alone. Get real. This is serious. Have son speak to his attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Arechigo & Stokka
    Arechigo & Stokka | John Arechigo
    In the circumstance you described, your son could be in a position to file a motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause. The state needs to present sufficient evidence of probable cause to believe a crime occurred; if a criminal defendant feels there is not enough information to go forward, he or she can bring a motion to dismiss and ask a judge to review the evidence. If the judge find there is not enough evidence to believe the person charged committed the crime, the judge will dismiss the charge(s).
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes, but not likely short of court.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    The womans testimony is evidence and if believed beyond a reasonable doubt then he could be convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law | Randy M. Lish
    You will need to have an attorney review the case, including the police report, to make sure what evidence is available, and if the attorney decides there is no evidence, he can file a motion to dismiss.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    The prosecutor can still go forward if the alleged victim is willing to testify. The lack of any physical evidence will make the case more difficult to prosecute, but that does not mean a prosecutor has to drop the charges. If the alleged victim doesnt testify, then the prosecutor will literally have no evidence, and then, yes, the case must be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If this is charged as a felony, there will be a primary hearing. At the hearing the judge will decide if there is enough evidence to show that a crime was committed and that your son may have done the crime. If the prosecution does not meet this burden, the case will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You forget the most important piece of evidence: witness statements, and this includes what your own son told others.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Your son needs a good lawyer - like me if you cannot afford a lawyer, get a public defender these cases can result in a lifetime of prison - even thought he was underage bc they can charge him as an adult also, he would have to register as a sex offender for most of the rest of his life do not trust the police and prosecution to find the evidence that makes your son innocent, they are not working for you, they believe the victim and want to convict - they may pretend to be nice and act as if they are helping, but they are not if your son is asked any questions by police or prosecution, his only response should be "I want a lawyer" there is nothing you can tell the police today that you cannot tell them tomorrow with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    In Maryland a person might be found guilty if only the testimony of a single witness is believed by the jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    File a motion to dismiss. You should contact an experienced criminal lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Hire an attorney to assist you. However, understand that these cases sometimes take a bit of time to put together. Because you dont think there is evidence does not mean that there isnt. These charges can be very serious.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/12/2013
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    There is evidence. There is the accusation of the alleged victim, which is the reason your son was arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/12/2013
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