Anatomy of a Dismissal of a Criminal Case in Federal Court

criminal case

By: Clint Broden Dallas Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

While criminal cases in federal court are not often dismissed (unlike state court where dismissals happen more frequently), dismissals do happen. That is why it is important that, if you are charged with an offense in federal court, you hire an attorney with significant experience representing criminal clients in federal court. At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we have handled almost 1,000 criminal cases

I recently represented a defendant charged in federal court with failure to register as a sex offender under the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). 18 U.S.C. § 2250. The client had hired me after he became dissatisfied with his previous lawyer. The client had been convicted in Illinois of a sex offense and had been to prison but was later charged under federal law with failure to register as a sex offender when he got out of prison and allegedly resided in Texas.

This is a complicated area of law. Ultimately Broden & Mickelsen, LLP filed a motion explaining that the elements of the client’s Illinois offense of conviction were not substantially similar to the type of offenses which require registration under SORNA and, also, that the Illinois offense was not substantially similar to a Texas offense. After reviewing the motion, the government dismissed the case with prejudice (i.e. it can never be brought again) shortly before trial. As a result, the client, who had been facing several years in prison if convicted, never had to go to trial.

Again, dismissal of criminal cases in federal court are not commonplace and there are many defendants who have been convicted of SORNA violations in federal court. Hiring an attorney with the right experience can be the difference between having a case dismissed and serving time in prison.

The relevant portion of the motion we filed on behalf of the client that led to the dismissal of the charges can be seen here. >>

Federal Crimes

Mick Mickelsen is a nationally recognized criminal trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience defending people charged with white-collar crimes, drug offenses, sex crimes, murder, and other serious state and federal offenses.