When you are facing criminal charges, the District Attorney’s office has the legal authority to make prosecutorial decisions for the State of Texas. While dismissals do occur in some cases, they are not as common as one might think. Ultimately, it is up to the District Attorney’s office whether to dismiss a specific criminal charge. No defense attorney can ever promise you or guarantee a dismissal of your criminal case.
Criminal cases can be dismissed without prejudice, or, more rarely, with prejudice. A dismissal without prejudice means that the District Attorney’s office can refile the same charges against you after previously dismissing them. For instance, if the District Attorney later receives more evidence against you for the charge from police, the District Attorney then could refile the same charges. However, if the court grants a dismissal without prejudice, then the District Attorney can never refile the same charges against you.
Various factors can dismiss the decision of the District Attorney’s office whether to dismiss criminal charges. The input of an alleged victim of the crime can be useful in persuading the District Attorney to dismiss the charges. Other relevant factors may include the strength of the evidence against you, the availability of witnesses, potential defenses or justifications for the crime, and other mitigating circumstances. Evidence that is contrary to the state’s evidence in support of prosecution also may help sway a decision whether to dismiss criminal charges.
Another circumstance that can lead to dismissal of criminal charges is the use of a deferred prosecution agreement. For instance, a defendant may be able to ultimately obtain a dismissal of charges by signing a written confession to the offense, agreeing to not commit other crimes, and agreeing to complete specific conditions, such as completing domestic violence or substance abuse counseling. The prosecutor often will dismiss the charges without prejudice when individuals enter these agreements. If the individuals fail to meet their end of the bargain, then the prosecutor can refile the charges and use the signed confession against them. If the individuals follow the agreement, then the charges will remain dismissed.
An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and explore your options. We then can help you make the decisions that are mostly like to be beneficial to you, based on your situation. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.