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Posted by: Defense lawyers at Alcock & Associates

Phoenix criminal defense attorney Nick Alcock often fields the question, “What does it mean that my felony case was scratched?”


There are a number things that can happen when you are charged with a felony. First, unlike a lower level misdemeanor offense, prosecutors have years to file charges. As a result, the State has the luxury to dismiss a case temporarily if they feel that they need more time.


Says criminal lawyer Alcock, “unfortunately many people believe that if their case is scratched that they have ‘won’ their case. There are many cases that are re-filed within a few months after a scratch. ”


So what is really happening and why do prosecutors scratch criminal cases in Arizona. A typical scenario goes something like this. A DUI defendant has their blood drawn at the police station. Because the defendant has a suspended license at the time of driving the case is charged as a felony. The defendant is summonsed to court to the Regional Court Center or RCC.


The RCC is the big box discount store of felony courts. The court processes hundreds of cases a day. As a result, oftentimes the prosecutors will not be able to get all of the evidence for each case in time. So if the State does not have the blood test done in time, they will scratch that case and concentrate on the cases that have no evidentiary problems.


Criminal defense attorneys know that the defendant who learns his case is scratched should still expect charges in the future. But the problem is that typically the person is notified of the scratch by a court administrator. The administrator is not able to give legal advice, and without the counsel of a criminal defense lawyer, many people leave the court confused.


If you have questions about a case that has been scratched, you can contact the criminal defense law firm of Alcock & Associates. Their attorneys can help you determine whether or note your case is likely to be refiled. Their number is 602-989-5000. Make sure to check out their YouTube video channel alcocklawaz.

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Alcock & Associates P.C.
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor
Phoenix AZ 85004