Some people who are facing criminal charges choose to sit back and hope that the case will be dropped. While that is possible in a small number of cases, it isn’t really a smart strategy to ignore the charges you are facing. In case you are wondering about why prosecutors would drop criminal charges, here are five of the reasons why that might occur.

Some prosecutors will drop criminal charges against a first-time offender. Typically, this occurs if the charge isn’t very serious and if you don’t have any criminal history. Typically, this isn’t going to happen for violent crimes, such as murder or rape.

Lack of resources leads to some criminal charges being dropped. As in the case of first time offenders, the charges that are dropped because of lack of resources are usually minor charges.

Not having adequate evidence is another reason why prosecutors might drop criminal charges. This goes along with the lack of resources factor in a way because prosecutors can’t spend their available time and funds trying to prosecute a case that they can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the burden of proof in criminal cases.

When witnesses don’t cooperate with prosecutors, the charges might be dropped. This is sometimes the case if the evidence in the case can’t prove the prosecution’s claims without the testimony of the witnesses.

Finally, there are some instances in which the defendant cooperating with prosecutors could lead to dropped or reduced charges. If you are considering this possibility, be sure that you understand your rights and how you can protect yourself if you do work with the prosecutors overseeing your case.

Source: FindLaw, “5 Reasons Prosecutors Drop Criminal Charges,” Andrew Lu, accessed Nov. 24, 2016