Criminal Defense and Title IX
Attorneys Austin, TX

How Do Texas Criminal Charges Get Dropped?

Find out what it takes to have charges dismissed, dropped, or reduced

Most people want to get their lives back as soon as possible after an arrest. That's why getting charges dismissed or "dropped" is such an attractive idea. Unfortunately, charges don't usually disappear on their own. Our criminal defense attorneys know how to help.

Botsford & Roark, an Austin-based criminal defense law firm, understands how the law works in Central Texas. We have established personal relationships with local judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement that we can use to argue effectively for dropped, dismissed, or reduced charges.

If you have been charged with a crime in Austin, Travis County, or another Central Texas community, contact our criminal defense lawyers for a confidential case evaluation. Our case results include:

  • Travis County prosecutors dropped a felony charge against a prominent lawyer accused of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries
  • Challenges to prosecutorial evidence led to charges being dropped against a top elected state politician accused of bribery/solicitation

Scenarios where charges may be ‘dropped’

Not every charge can be dismissed and not every case will be eligible for reduced charges. There are qualifying circumstances that must be met, proven, and argued with authority for the charges to “go away.”

Success typically depends on circumstances, the severity of charges, and the prosecutor's goals for their jurisdiction. Here are some scenarios in which Central Texas criminal charges may be dropped or reduced:

  • Insufficient evidence. When the prosecution lacks strong evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, charges may be dropped. If, for example, evidence was obtained unlawfully in an illegal search and seizure, it may be suppressed, leading to a reduction or dismissal of charges.
  • Plea bargains. Prosecutors may offer reduced charges or sentences in exchange for a guilty plea, leading to a resolution without a full trial.
  • Diversion programs. Some cases may be eligible for diversion programs that allow them to complete requirements such as probation or community service in exchange for having charges dropped.
  • Self-defense or justification. If a defendant can demonstrate that their actions were in self-defense or justified under the circumstances, charges may be dropped or reduced.
  • Witness credibility issues. If witnesses are not credible or their testimony is unreliable, it can weaken the prosecution's case and lead to dropped or reduced charges.
  • Statute of limitations. If charges are filed after the statute of limitations has expired, they may be dismissed.
  • Double jeopardy. If you have already been tried and acquitted for the same offense, they cannot be tried again, as it would violate the principle of double jeopardy.
  • Constitutional violations. Any violation of your constitutional rights, such as the right to an attorney or the right to a speedy trial, can lead to charges being dropped.

A deal to dismiss charges or reach a plea agreement can be negotiated right up until a verdict is delivered. However, if you have been wrongly convicted, there may still be an opportunity to have charges dismissed or reduced in an appeal.

This relief can only be pursued if new or additional evidence comes to light that could support your claim of innocence or significant errors were made during the initial trial.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys serving Central Texas

A lot of people are charged with crimes for unfair and unsubstantiated reasons. But it doesn't matter how obvious it may seem that the charges and evidence against you are wrong. If there is no one there to effectively advocate on your behalf, the unchallenged and unfair charges will carry forward.

At Botsford & Roark, our Austin criminal defense lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and dedication to guide you through the complexities of the legal system. If there is a reason to drop charges, remove evidence from consideration, file an appeal, or negotiate for lesser charges, we will forcefully pursue these options.

Contact us now for a free case evaluation to learn more about our approach to the charges you’re facing.

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