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Charge dismissal by prosecutors result of ballistics questions

Criminal charges are often placed based on an investigation initiated by law enforcement officers. In some cases, the results of the investigation can lead to an arrest that eventually ends in a criminal conviction. In other cases, the conviction is never obtained. A recent case in Arizona has taken an interesting turn regarding the suspect's criminal charges.

The case has to do with the I-10 freeway shootings that rocked the area in August and September of last year. A 21-year-old man was arrested in connection with those shootings. His bail was set at $150,000 on 15 charges, including aggravated assault and drive-by-shooting.

Recently, a ballistics expert called some of the methodology of the investigation into account. Police initially tied the man to the four of the shootings on the interstate because of the man's handgun that was found at a pawn shop. In a recent hearing, it was noted that the ballistics match didn't exist.

That ballistics expert's questions led to a judge reducing the man's bail to nothing, which meant he could be released from police custody. Prosecutors in the case have filed papers to have the man's criminal charges dismissed. The filing would allow prosecutors to charge the man again if it becomes necessary to do so. It is expected that the presiding judge will dismiss the case.

This man's case is a good example of how improper investigative techniques might be of use to a defendant's defense strategy. This is why looking into every possible avenue of a defense strategy is crucial if you are facing criminal charges for any reason.

Source: Reuters, "Prosecutors seek dismissal of charges against man in Arizona shootings," Alex Dobuzinskis, April 22, 2016

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