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Can a Felony Be Dismissed in Texas?

Being charged with a felony is scary, but there are times when the charges may be dismissed.

Being charged with a felony is scary. You are likely worried about your future and you may be imagining the worst. Fortunately, being charged with a felony does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. In fact, your charges may be dismissed or dropped before your trial even begins. Judges can dismiss a case either on the motion of the defendant or on their own motion. In most cases, though, the prosecution will drop the charges. Below, our Austin criminal defense attorney outlines some of the most common reasons this happens.

Lack of Evidence

The most common reason charges are dropped or dismissed is a lack of evidence. The prosecution must have enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. When they do not, they may drop the charges instead of risking an acquittal. In these cases, there may be a lack of fingerprints or DNA, or a witness may refuse to testify.

Changing Priorities

Prosecutors have limited resources and they have to carefully determine how they will allocate them. Sometimes, a case that is more egregious or urgent may take priority over lesser charges. In these instances, the prosecution may drop the lesser charges in order to pursue the larger ones. This is particularly true in cases that involve petty theft or non-violent drug offenses.

The Background of the Defendant

The character and background of a defendant can also be a factor in getting cases dropped. For example, if a defendant is a student or single parent, the protection may decide to drop the charges. This is particularly true when the offense is non-violent and the defendant does not have a previous criminal record. The prosecution will consider the severity of the crime in these cases. For example, even if a defendant was a single parent, the charges would not likely be dropped if they had been convicted of multiple violent crimes in the past.

Plea Bargains

Prosecutors are often willing to drop certain charges if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to other offenses. Dropping other charges can sometimes make the prosecution’s case stronger. For example, a person may be accused of aggravated assault. This is usually charged as a felony and the prosecution must prove that the defendant caused serious bodily harm to another person, or used a deadly weapon during the assault. If the prosecution cannot prove these elements, they may offer a plea deal in which the aggravated assault charges are dropped if the defendant pleads guilty to simple assault, which is a misdemeanor.

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Austin Can Help Get Your Charges Dropped

If you have been charged with a felony, you need a strong legal defense. At Granger and Mueller, PC, our Austin criminal defense attorneys can provide it and give you the best chance of getting your charges dropped. Call us today at (512) 474-9999 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to get more information.