I estimate that less than five percent of criminal cases will actually go to trial. Some specific kinds of cases, however, go to trial more frequently. Domestic violence cases, for instance, especially those involving witnesses who have different versions of the same events, go to trial more often than others.
A criminal case might be dismissed prior to trial if there is a lack of evidence. A lack of evidence can be the result of a successful motion to suppress and dismiss evidence on the basis of an illegal search or seizure or illegal questioning, for instance. Evidence may also be lacking as the result of an uncooperative or otherwise unavailable alleged victim or witness who would be needed to testify in order to prove the case. Cases can also sometimes be dismissed as part of a global resolution in resolving other cases, either for the same defendant or for another defendant.
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