Q: Can I dismiss the charge from the Municipal Court because I never receive a notice of Complaint?
Is it called Motion to Quash in the criminal case?
I received both summon for pre-trial and the sworn complaint from the Municipal Court recently. Based on the statue below, can I argue that I was never provided the Notice of Complaint prior to the State moved to issue Pre Trial Hearing?
Art. 45.018. COMPLAINT. (a) For purposes of this chapter, a complaint is a sworn allegation charging the accused with the commission of an offense.
(b) A defendant is entitled to notice of a complaint against the defendant not later than the day before the date of any proceeding in the prosecution of the defendant under the complaint. The defendant may waive the right to notice granted by this subsection.
Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1545, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.
A: If you received a copy of the complaint prior to the pretrial hearing date, then the State has complied with the applicable statute.
Kiele Linroth Pace agrees with this answer
You would be better served begging for money on the side of the road and then using the donations to hire a traffic ticket attorney. This is not an exaggeration.
In most circumstances, only the prosecutor can dismiss a criminal case. The defense can never dismiss the case, and the judge can only do it in rare circumstances, for example lack of jurisdiction or extreme prosecutorial misconduct that renders Due Process impossible.
It sounds like you do have notice, but even if you didn't, the solution would be to move the hearing date, not quash the charging instrument. That only happens if the charge is defective... but that wouldn't really help you because the statute of limitations is 2 years on a misdemeanor so they would have plenty of time to simply fix the defect and re-file it.
The fact that you asked this question, and the words you chose, is a sign of trouble. Municipal court is the easiest type of criminal court, but you are setting yourself up for a disaster of your own making. In muni court, the judges and prosecutors are accustomed to dealing with pro se defendants. They might be sympathetic if you show respect and deference while begging for a second chance. Maybe you could even cry. On the other hand, if you go in there trying to play a game of "Procedural Gotcha" then you risk spoiling their good will.
There are some misguided people who imagine themselves to be "sovereign citizens" who believe all manner of foolish things and make aggressively wrong-headed legal arguments. They almost always rub the prosecutor the wrong way and end up with a maximum fine PLUS court costs in cases that otherwise might have been resolved with a conditional dismissal. When a one of these fools takes their chances at trial, a skilled prosecutor uses the rules of evidence, procedure, and established case law to essentially tie the defendant's hands and prevent them even presenting half of their argument.
It is a bad idea to defend yourself, but if you do, you must avoid coming off like a sovereign citizen. Don't waste time trying to find loopholes... you'll be fighting against masters. You've heard the old saying, "don't bring a knife to a gun fight?" Well it is like that, except instead of a knife you are bringing a wet noodle to a gun fight. The priorities need to be (1) the application of the evidence to the specific statute you are accused of violating and (2) mitigation... basically the reasons why you deserve the benefit of the doubt or a second chance.
Just swallow your pride and ask your parents or someone who cares about you for help hiring an attorney. As a parent myself, I would be *crushed* if my child went pro se because he was afraid ask for help. Many parents start looking for ways to help their kids have a better future BEFORE THOSE KIDS ARE EVEN BORN! Give your parents the chance to help you again. Helping you will also help their grandchildren (or future grandchildren.)
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