How to get your case dismissed in North Carolina

How can I get my North Carolina criminal case dismissed?

There's no sure fire was to get a North Carolina criminal case dismissed.  One great way to get a case dismissed is to take a very careful look look at the charging document.  There are a handful of different things that could be wrong with your citation, magistrate's order, criminal summons, arrest warrant or statement of charges.  The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel can review your charging documents and let you know if there was a mistake that could lead to a dismissal.

Here's a good example by way of a run of the mille larceny or shoplifting case.  By law the North Carolina charging document must identify the owner of the property stolen.  Very often the business who owns the property will be listed by their name instead of the name of the legal entity capable of owning property in North Carolina.  This is an important legal distinction and one that is very often not included in the charging document.

A bill of indictment is fatally defective if it does not allege that an incorporated legal entity is a corporation or the name of the legal entity does not import that it is a corporation.  The owner of the property in question is an essential element in a larceny case.  If the owner is not properly identified the case must be dismissed. 

The best known example is where an indictment in a larceny case was fatally defective because it listed the owner of the property as “Faith Temple Church of God” instead of “Faith Temple Church-High Point, Incorporated.”

More commonly a charging document might list “Wal Mart” as the owner of the property stolen instead of “Wal Mart Incorporated, a legal entity capable of owning property in the State of North Carolina.”

Generally this specific example is a temporary fix in the case of a larceny or shoplifting case.  The District Attorney's Office could go back and file new charges against you listing the correct legal entity.  But there's always a chance they would not go back to file new charges.  At the very least this legal move could save you several months while the DA goes back to start from scratch with new charges. 

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel serves clients in Wake, Durham, Chatham and Orange Counties.  The cases mentioned above are just examples and there is no one size fits all approach to getting a case dismissed.  If you are charged with a crime and have questions about your charging document (and whether a mistake could lead to a dismissal) we offer free consultations to discuss your case.


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.