An accusation of a crime and even formal charges do not mean that a person is guilty. Evidence must be reviewed, and a criminal trial commonly takes place for the charges to be heard and for the accused to present a defense if desired. However, it is possible for criminal charges to change during a preliminary hearing if the evidence does not support some of the allegations.
One man in Pennsylvania recently had a turn of luck during his own preliminary hearing. According to reports, the man was charged in relation to the alleged assault of another man last year. The initial charges brought against the man included:
- first-degree attempted homicide
- first-degree aggravated assault
- first-degree unlawful restraint
- second-degree simple assault
However, the alleged victim and witnesses to the purported incident did not show up for the preliminary hearing. As a result, multiple charges against the man were dropped, including those listed above. Instead, the man entered a guilty plea to third-degree misdemeanor simple assault and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to two years of probation.
Deciding to enter a guilty plea is a personal choice and can depend entirely on the circumstances of the case. However, it may be worth considering as a defense option if a possible deal could result in a favorable outcome. As this Pennsylvania case shows, criminal charges and subsequent legal cases are unpredictable, and even serious allegations could be withdrawn due to lack of evidence and testimony. As a result, individuals facing any type of serious accusations may want to remain hopeful as their cases proceed.