Dismissal in Interest of Justice

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Trial courts in some jurisdictions have the discretionary power to dimiss cases in the interest of justice. Defense attorneys should be prepared to argue dismissal in the interests of justice when a the court retains the right either by code or by common law tradition.

Country Specific Application

United States

Under New York CPL Section 170.40 a misdemeanor charge may be dismissed. Under this provision the court must consider all the following factors:

(a) the seriousness and circumstances of the offense;

(b) the extent of harm caused by the offense; (c) the evidence of guilt, whether admissible or inadmissible at trial; (d) the history, character and condition of the defendant; (e) any exceptionally serious misconduct of law enforcement personnel in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of the defendant; (f) the purpose and effect of imposing upon the defendant a sentence authorized for the offense; (g) the impact of a dismissal on the safety or welfare of the community; (h) the impact of a dismissal upon the confidence of the public in the criminal justice system; (i) where the court deems it appropriate, the attitude of the complainant or victim with respect to the motion; (j) any other relevant fact indicating that a judgment of conviction

would serve no useful purpose.[1]

See Defenses


  1. N.Y. CPL. LAW § 170.40 : NY Code - Section 170.40: Motion to dismiss information, simplified traffic information, prosecutor's information or misdemeanor complaint; in furtherance of justice