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Can charges for a class 1 felony be asked to be dropped at the indictment hearing"

Dallas, TX |

My nephew was arrested 3 years ago almost to the date. They sent him notice that he was being indicted for the offense and scheduled a court date on August 21 2013. He was a junior in high school at the time just turned 17. The only evidence as it was told to me was the person who was originally arrested for the offense said my nephew was involved. His mother said he was at home with a friend of the night of the offense. I want to know how to find out the evidence if any and can we ask for a court appointed lawyer? Is there any direction we should proceed?

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Attorney answers 4


You will have to ask for a court appointed lawyer or hire one yourself. If he was recently indicted then he should have a court date pretty soon. Ask for a court-appointed attorney at that time. They will not just give you the evidence against your nephew. Your attorney will have to get it from the state after the case is open and then he will be able to go over it with your nephew.


Let's break this down a bit....

First, your nephew was 17 years old 3 years ago. So, he is now an adult. And for that reason, you cannot ask for a court appointed attorney for him. If he is unable to afford a lawyer, he can ask for a court appointed lawyer.

Second, the phrase "notice that we was being indicted" is confusing to a criminal defense lawyer. Why? Because it might mean that your son's case was going to be presented to a grand jury that would consider whether to indict him, or it could mean that your son had just gotten indicted.

Third, you may, perhaps, be on to something important when you note that the only evidence you have heard of is that the person originally arrested said your nephew was involved. The reason for this is that in Texas criminal cases, the testimony of an "accomplice" (basically someone who was in on the crime with the defendant) is never enough to support a conviction unless the prosecutor has other evidence that tends to connect the defendant to the crime in a way that looks guilty.

Fourth, your question about how to proceed....Get your nephew to a good criminal defense lawyer for a full case evaluation. If your nephew has a criminal defense lawyer working on this already, great.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.


No. Only the State can drop a criminal case, not the defendant, not the victim. Your nephew's best bet is to set up a consultation with a local criminal defense lawyer and find out a little bit of what is expected to happen to him. Once he hires an attorney, that person can speak with the prosecutor and see if there is any possibility of getting the case dismissed or working out a plea. Every case is different. Your nephew is now 20 years old. It is worth the money to hire a good lawyer so he doesn't look back in the future and wish he had done things differently.


If he has not been indicted yet I suggest hiring a lawyer to put together a grand jury packet. A grand jury packet is a packet presented to the grand jury which shows your side of the story. Maybe you can have witness statements attached, and a letter from the lawyer pointing out problems within the police report or pointing out the lack of evidence. I use these packets often in my practice with great success.

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