How to Get Criminal Charges Dropped or Dismissed in HoustonPublished: Sep 26, 2022 in Criminal Defense
It might seem like everything in your life is about to come crashing down when you are arrested, but that is not always how things turn out. Sometimes police make an arrest based on the evidence in front of them and their judgment. And sometimes, while doing this, they make mistakes, and people are wrongfully charged.
Other times, legal professionals involved with the trial mess up, creating holes in the case and leaving the door open to get the charges dropped or dismissed. So, if you find yourself in trouble with the law in Houston, take a breath and remember that there are ways to ensure that any charges against you do not stick.
When is a Case Dismissed?
First, we need to know the difference between dismissing criminal charges and dropping them.
Charges can be dropped before or after they are filed. This means that at any point in that window, a judge or prosecutor could decide that the charges against you do not hold enough water for you to be held legally responsible for what happened.
On the other hand, charges can only be dismissed after they are filed.
Why is it Possible to Drop Charges?
You can be arrested and charged because of what evidence law enforcement has available when the crime is reported. After that, it is on them and the prosecution to gather more evidence to eliminate any doubt that might creep up before and during legal proceedings.
Sometimes, the prosecutor questions whether they can prove your guilt without a reasonable doubt. There are many reasons why they may begin to doubt the strength of certain aspects of their case, including:
There might have been enough proof to charge you, but the evidence might be flawed when your defense lawyer starts to pick through it and question its validity.
Fourth Amendment Violations
The Fourth Amendment protects you against unlawful searches and seizures. So, if law enforcement arrests you without the right cause or warrant, your charges might get dropped.
Even if the police have the proper legal paperwork to initiate the arrest, they still must follow other procedures, such as reading you your Miranda Rights or giving you the chance to contact an attorney before speaking to them.
Lack of Resources
This could include a lack of reliable witnesses or evidence deemed inadmissible (unusable) before trial.
Willingness to Cooperate
According to the Fifth Amendment, you do not have to do anything that could result in self-incrimination. So, if the case revolves around your admission of guilt and you do not provide it, the court is stuck. This does not mean you can lie; it just means you do not have to answer questions.
These come in the form of accepting plea deals or participating in pretrial diversion programs. This could mean you plead guilty to a lesser crime, cooperate with law enforcement, or go to a court-appointed recovery program.
Will the Court Dismiss Your Charges?
For the same reasons as above, your charges could get dismissed. However, the prosecution or judge must feel that the available evidence is not enough for the charges to hold.
Could Your Charges Get Reduced?
If you are charged with multiple crimes, but the prosecution or court feels they could only successfully convict you on a few, they might lessen the charges if you plead guilty to others.
How to Get Charges Dismissed or Dropped
If you believe you have been wrongfully convicted, arrested, or arraigned, you could get the charges dropped or dismissed. However, this is a complicated process, and you must retain a criminal defense lawyer who can negotiate or argue on your behalf.
Call a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been arrested and accused of a crime, you have the right to a trial. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can give you the representation you deserve and work to get your charges reduced, dismissed, or even dropped.
Attorney Ned Barnett ensures that your side of the story is heard. To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett. Contact us today at (713) 222-6767.