What Happens When Criminal Charges Get Dropped in Houston, TX?

03 Apr 2023
Greco Neyland, PC

One of the best possible outcomes for your Houston, TX, criminal case would be to get your charges dropped. Once a prosecutor drops charges, you cannot face penalties for the alleged offense, it does not go on your record, and the case is essentially over.

Here are some of the most common questions we get about dropped or dismissed charges.

What is the difference between dropped charges and dismissed charges?

Charges may be dropped at any point up until you are found guilty in a court of law. They may even be dropped before they’re filed. A prosecutor may drop charges.

Charges may only be dismissed after filing and only by a judge.

The outcome is essentially the same: you aren’t convicted of any crime, are released from jail if you haven’t already been released, and can’t face further penalties. The initial arrest, however, does appear on your record. However, a criminal defense attorney may help you get the arrest record expunged.

Can a victim drop charges in Texas?


This question comes up quite often in domestic violence cases. A victim may not drop charges.

Only the prosecutor may drop charges. An individual prosecutor might consider a victim’s request, but they might not. Prosecutors know how thorny domestic violence cases can be. They know, for example, that victims may want to drop charges because they are afraid of the accused and not because the accused wasn’t guilty of any domestic violence crime.

They also know that a domestic violence charge is, legally, a crime against the state, not a crime against the victim.

What does it take to get charges dropped?

Defense attorneys usually need to show a prosecutor that one of the following is true:

  1. There is insufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  2. The police violated your constitutional rights during the arrest or during the search and seizure process.
  3. There is fresh evidence in your favor.
  4. You are cooperating with other criminal cases.

A prosecutor may also drop charges if you participate in a pretrial diversion program once you fulfill all the conditions of the pretrial diversion program.

Get Help Today

Prosecutors rarely drop charges without prompting from a criminal defense lawyer who takes the time to evaluate your case and to pick theirs apart.

Give yourself your best chance at dropped charges by scheduling a case review with our office ASAP.

See also:

How to Help a Loved One Accused of a Crime in Houston, TX

What Happens Between Arrest and a Houston, TX Criminal Trial

Steps to Take if Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence in Houston, TX

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