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Getting federal charges dropped when there is not enough evidence

Accusations of committing a serious felony offense in North Carolina may be counteracted when the evidence presented is not directly related to your alleged actions. The Law Offices of J. Darren Byers, P.A. understands when to suppress evidence that was illegitimately collected so that any federal charges filed against you may be dropped or reduced. While suppressing the evidence is not always allowed, the Winston-Salem Journal reported on how a Forsythe County resident had more than 12 federal charges filed against him dismissed.

A 20-year-old man purportedly went out with his minor-aged friends on a horse-shooting spree at Muddy Creek Greenway. The greenway is accessible by pedestrians and bicycles, but the man and his friends drove onto it in three vehicles, which were reported as stolen along with 10 guns. When law enforcement responded to a phone call revealing vehicles were on the greenway, they found several wounded horses.

Search warrants helped officials track down the suspects and his friends. Once in custody, the defendant was charged and accused of killing one of the horses with a stolen .22-250-caliber rifle and shooting another horse with a 12-gauge shotgun. A third horse was also wounded from some stray pellets.

Forsyth County prosecutors, however, did not have enough evidence to convict the man of the three felony animal cruelty charges that were filed against him. As part of a plea bargain where he admitted to guilt on one count for possession of a stolen firearm, the charges for contributing to the delinquency of his minor friends were dismissed. The prosecutors admitted that they did not have enough evidence to convict him over the death and injuries of the horses. To be convicted of a crime, prosecutors must provide evidence that was legally gathered and which shows that the defendant committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

My page on federal criminal defense provides more information on facing felony charges.