When you are arrested for a crime in Plano, you may believe the only option you have is to plead guilty and accept the criminal penalties. However, you could have several options for defending yourself. Depending on the circumstances and facts, your criminal charges could be dismissed.

Before accepting a plea deal from a prosecutor, talk to an experienced Plano criminal defense lawyer. An attorney analyzes your case to determine the best defense strategy to keep you out of jail and protect your civil rights.

A guilty verdict impacts your future. You may not be able to own a firearm, get the job you want, or live where you want. Therefore, you should remain silent until you have the opportunity to speak with a criminal defense lawyer. 

Ways Your Criminal Case May Be Resolved 

When your criminal charges are dismissed, the record of your arrest may remain on your criminal history. However, the notation states that the charges were dismissed. In other words, your case was never decided by a judge or jury.

A “not guilty” verdict means that the case was heard, and either a judge or jury found you not guilty. You can also agree to a plea deal. A plea deal means that you admit you are guilty and accept the punishment without presenting a defense. 

Five Ways to Have Your Criminal Charges Dismissed in Plano

Your criminal charges can be dismissed at any time before or during a trial. In most cases, if a prosecutor drops the charges, it will be before the trial. However, a judge could dismiss the charges based on pretrial motions or hearings your attorney requests.

Five common reasons why criminal charges are dismissed include:

1. Your Civil Rights Were Violated

Every person is afforded specific rights under the United States Constitution. When law enforcement agencies or prosecutors violate your civil rights, the criminal charges against you may be dismissed.

Examples of civil rights include:

  • The right not to incriminate yourself
  • The right to view the evidence the state has against you
  • The right to consult with legal counsel during questions and interrogations 
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses against you
  • The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures

In some cases, a violation of your civil rights could result in the judge ruling that evidence is inadmissible. If the prosecution cannot make its case without that evidence, the judge dismisses the charges.

2. Illegal Searches and Seizures

Law enforcement officers must have probable cause to conduct a search of your home, property, vehicle, or person. Any evidence discovered during an illegal search may be inadmissible. Without that evidence, the prosecution may have no choice but to drop the charges against you.

3. Enter a Pretrial Diversion Program

Some individuals may choose to enter a pretrial diversion program, also known as pretrial intervention. You may be assigned to a drug or alcohol education program, perform community service or complete other terms as conditions of the diversion program. 

If you complete the diversion program, the state dismisses your criminal charges. Therefore, you will not have a criminal record. However, if you do not complete the program or you fail to abide by the terms and conditions, you must serve your complete sentence.

4. Provide Information on Another Criminal Case

Informants provide information about pending criminal cases in exchange for reduced charges, lesser sentences, or dismissal of criminal charges. The deal you make depends on the value of your information. The better the information, the more chance you have of obtaining a dismissal of your criminal charges.

5. Mistakes With the Chain of Custody

Evidence is used to prove guilt in a criminal case. Therefore, the chain of custody must be preserved to prevent mistakes that could corrupt the evidence. Errors in the chain of custody could result in evidence being thrown out. 

As with the other situations above, if the evidence is inadmissible, the prosecutor may have no choice but to dismiss the criminal charges.

What Should You Do After Being Arrested in Plano, TX?

Do not talk to the police. Instead, ask for a criminal defense attorney. You are not required to answer questions or respond to comments made by the police officers.

Police officers will mislead you. They will tell you things that are not true to encourage you to keep talking. Unfortunately, the more you talk, the more you hurt your chance of having your criminal charges dismissed.

Do not discuss your case with anyone else, including your family members and friends. Stop using social media and commenting online. Again, what you say after your arrest could erase any chance of a complete dismissal of charges.

Instead, remain silent and wait to speak with a lawyer about your options for defending yourself and getting out of jail.