Facing criminal charges in Texas can be an extremely stressful experience – especially for first-time offenders. Depending on the severity of the charges you are facing, you might be concerned about the possibility of paying hefty fines, serving time in jail, losing your livelihood, and your reputation getting deeply damaged.
The fact is that just because you are charged with a crime, it does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted and end up with a criminal record. Depending on the circumstances, the pending criminal charges against you might be dropped by the prosecutor before your case even goes to trial or might be dismissed by the prosecutor or the court.
In Absence of Enough Evidence, the Prosecutor’s Decision May Favor You
When you break the law, the police have the authority to arrest you and charge you with a crime. Once they do, the prosecution needs to build a case against you and gather the evidence needed to obtain a conviction.
In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must be able to establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, they can only use lawfully obtained evidence to establish your guilt.
If at any point during this legal process the prosecutor believes that they do not have a strong case against you and might not be able to obtain a guilty verdict due to lack of sufficient evidence, they might decide to drop or dismiss the charges against you.
Common Reasons Why Criminal Charges Might Be Dropped or Dismissed in Texas
#1. Insufficient Evidence
This is by far the most common reason why the prosecutor might decide to drop the charges against you. If the prosecutor believes that the evidence they have is not sufficient to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, they might decide to drop the charges.
#2. Procedural Errors
Police officers in Texas have strict procedural requirements to comply with while arresting and interrogating a suspect. Any procedural error on the part of the arresting officer – or any other authority involved in the case – might be grounds for dropping the charges against you. The most common procedural errors that can cause the prosecutor to drop the charges include arresting without probable cause, coercing a confession out of the defendant, violation of the defendant’s Miranda rights, and more.
#3. Fourth Amendment Violations
Police officers in Texas are prohibited from conducting unlawful searches, except under rare circumstances. Any evidence obtained through an illegal search will be deemed inadmissible in court and lead to dropped charges.
#4. Lack of Cooperation from the Victim
If the alleged victim does not want to proceed with the charges against you or if they are unwilling to cooperate with the prosecutor, the charges against you might be dropped. It should be noted that a victim does not have the legal right or authority to drop a criminal charge in Texas. Only the prosecutor can decide to not pursue charges in criminal matters.
#5. Your Criminal History and Your Willingness to Cooperate with the Prosecution
If you are a first-time offender who is facing misdemeanor charges, and if you are willing to cooperate with the authorities, the prosecutor might decide not to write you up on any charges.
What Does It Mean When Your Case Is Dismissed?
When a criminal case is voluntarily dismissed, it generally means that charges were formally filed, but the prosecutor decided not to proceed with the case due to the aforementioned reasons.
For instance, your attorney might find out that the case against is not strong and might not prevail at trial. In such a scenario, they might be able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the charges against you.
Similarly, if your attorney finds new evidence or additional evidence that proves you are innocent, they might be able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the charges. Under some circumstances, your case could go to trial and might be dismissed with prejudice by the court due to the aforementioned reasons.
Facing Criminal Charges in Texas? Let the Most Dedicated and Trustworthy Criminal Defense Lawyers Fight for You
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Texas, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kelly Legal Group can help you. With a keen understanding of Texas criminal law, decades of combined legal experience, and substantial resources and connections, we are best equipped to handle all kinds of criminal cases – no matter how complicated they might be.
We will aggressively attack the prosecution’s case, mount a robust defense against the charges you are facing, and fight relentlessly to get the charges dropped or the case dismissed. For a free evaluation of your case, call our law firm today at 512-505-0053 or fill out this online contact form.