A New York City man had multiple drug charges brought against him dropped because of possible prejudicial information being revealed to a grand jury. The individual in question was indicted by a grand jury on four class B felonies. However, a county judge dismissed these charges because information was revealed to the grand jury about an alleged uncharged crime being attributed to this individual.
Despite instructions to the grand jury to ignore this testimony, the judge felt the grand jury continued to request information and ask questions regarding the uncharged crime. The judge thus felt attempts to have the grand jury disregard this information were insufficient.
This is not the end of the matter, however. A new grand jury will now have to be reassembled to rehear this matter. The grand jury will hear the same charges without being given access to information regarding the uncharged crime.
Still, this case does demonstrate how seriously courts take the responsibility that everyone be provided a fair trial. It takes more than allegations to ultimately convict individuals of drug crimes. Prosecuting attorneys also owe a duty to courts to not try to bring in tainted evidence that may ultimately sway a jury.
As the above case demonstrates, there are also times charges will be dismissed when evidence is improperly introduced. Evidence that is presented which could be unfair or prejudicial towards an individual charged cannot be allowed in.
It’s essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney when charged with a drug crime. The rights of those arrested are should not be put in jeopardy.
Source: Watertown Daily times, “Charges dismissed against NYC man due to potential prejudice,” W.T. Eckert, Oct. 13, 2013