How Do I Get My Texas Criminal Case Dismissed?


Texas criminal defense lawyers explain how to get your TX criminal case dismissed.

When you’re facing a criminal prosecution in Texas, it’s natural to be curious if there’s a possibility of prosecutors dropping the charges against you.

Most people charged with a crime have a lot of questions. Is there a difference between a dropped charge and a charge that’s dismissed? Will this affect your criminal record? An experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer can help you answer all of these questions.

Who Can Drop Criminal Charges?

It’s important to note that only the prosecutor of a case can drop a criminal charge; it must be the prosecutor who chooses not to proceed with the case. By contrast, the victim of a crime doesn’t have the authority to drop a charge. For example, if a victim of Texas domestic violence calls the police, leading to a significant other’s arrest, the victim can’t later decide to drop the charges. Only the prosecutor can make this call.

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You must also remember that a dropped charge is different from a case that gets dismissed. When a prosecutor chooses to drop criminal charges, it may be due to a lack of evidence necessary to bring a successful case.

In other cases, the defendant’s criminal defense lawyer raises an issue early in the case that casts serious doubts on the prosecution’s side of the case. It’s also possible for a prosecutor to drop charges because a key witness is suddenly unavailable or unwilling to provide testimony.

Dropped Charges vs. Dismissing a Case

In both a dropped charge case and a case that was dismissed, the defendant is permitted to walk free from the case. However, a prosecutor can drop a charge at any point in the prosecution, including before charges are actually filed against the defendant. For example, a prosecutor may choose to drop charges after a grand jury determines that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute the subject of a criminal investigation.

By contrast, a court or prosecutor can only dismiss a case once charges have been filed. In cases where a criminal case has been filed, the prosecutor may move to dismiss a case due to insufficient evidence or a procedural issue, or the court may be required to do the same on its own motion.

6 Reasons a Prosecutor May Drop Criminal Charges

There can be numerous reasons why a prosecutor decides to drop charges against a criminal defendant. The reality is that not every criminal case moves forward. If a prosecutor’s case is on shaky ground, they may not always let the defendant know that they’re questioning the validity of the case. This is why it’s important for criminal defendants to work with an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer.

  • Lack of Evidence – In some cases, prosecutors simply don’t have enough evidence to prove the elements of the alleged crime. In these types of cases, it may take the defense lawyer filing a motion to dismiss the case due to a lack of evidence. However, there are situations in which a prosecutor will drop the charges on their own.
  • Unlawful Search or Seizure – Police can’t violate an individual’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of property under the Fourth Amendment. Criminal cases can be, and often are, dismissed due to police violations of citizens’ constitutional rights.

Under the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, even evidence that allegedly proves a defendant’s guilty can’t be included in the prosecution’s case if it was obtained by unlawful means. This can result in prosecutors being forced to drop charges against a defendant.

  • Procedural Mistakes – Police and prosecutors must also comply with specific procedures put in place regarding criminal proceedings, such as a suspect’s arrest, criminal booking, police questioning, and arraignment. If the defendant’s rights are violated during this process, it has the potential to invalidate the case against them.
  • Crowded Criminal Docket – Many people are surprised to learn that prosecutors sometimes drop charges because they don’t have enough time to handle all the cases on the court’s docket. This can sometimes result in a relatively minor charge being dropped as a prosecutor’s way of freeing up some time to handle more serious cases.
  • Witness Unavailability – If a criminal case turns on the testimony of a witness, the whole case could crumble if that witness suddenly becomes unavailable or decides not to cooperate with prosecutors.
  • Defendant Cooperation – It’s possible for prosecutors to drop charges against a criminal defendant if the person has valuable evidence that can help prosecutors in a separate case. In this case, prosecutors are likely to offer the defendant a cooperation agreement that says prosecutors will drop the charges against the defendant in exchange for the defendant’s cooperation in another case.

Contact a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Case

If you have been charged with a crime in Texas, it’s important to work with a reputable and experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas. If you want to call our law firm, don’t hesitate to discuss your options with a Broden & Mickelsen, LLP Texas criminal defense attorneys.



Mick Mickelsen is a nationally recognized criminal trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience defending people charged with white-collar crimes, drug offenses, sex crimes, murder, and other serious state and federal offenses.