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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23598
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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WHat is the law on dropping charges When someone drops a charge,

Customer Question

WHat is the law on dropping charges? When someone drops a charge, shouldn't it be dropped and left up to the judge and if it is left to the judge, why? IT should be up to the people (offender) on whether they want to pursue or drop not the judge.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

The DA is the one who can reduce or drop a case any time he wants for any reason he wants to. He does not need permission from the judge. The judge can dismiss a case also, but only when he has a specific reason based in the state's law. For example, if the statute of limitations ran out by the time the case was filed, the judge can dismiss. If the case actually belongs in a different court, the judge can dismiss and tell the state to refile it in the right place.

As for the complainant being able to drop his own case, once a defendant is arrested and the case is filed with the court, that case no longer belongs to the complainant. The case becomes the DA's and he prosecutes it on behalf of the State of Texas. If the complainant wants to drop the case, he has to go and talk to the DA and ask the DA to let him drop it. The DA can choose to keep prosecuting the case even against the wishes of the complainant and they will tell that to the complainant and may refuse to drop, at least immediately. But usually if the complainant sticks to his desire to drop, something favorable to the defendant can be worked out.