What does dismissal of all priors mean?

UPDATED: Apr 5, 2019

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What does dismissal of all priors mean?

After completion of all requirements of
a past conviction in Arizona, a special
condition of dismissal of all priors was
stated in the final paperwork what does
this mean?

Asked on April 5, 2019 under Criminal Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

My answer is going to be someone limited because I don't have the actual documents before me....but generally....
When the plea documents includes a provision of dismissal, then sometimes it means there are other cases, but the state has agreed to 'hold' the charges while the defendant works programs or probation.  If the defendant completes all of the terms, then the State will flat out dismiss the other charges.  This is called a conditional dismissal.
Other plea agreements include what are called '12.45 agreements.'  "12.45" refers to a chapter in the Texas criminal laws which says all charges can be wrapped up in one deal.  How it works is the defendant enters a plea in one case.  The defendant then 'confesses' to other charges, but those charges are dismissed becasue the defendant entered a plea in that main case.  It is a really helpful tool for defendants who want to reduce their number of convictions or limit their exposure to other charges.  The only set back is that the 'confession' can be used against the defendant later if he/she gets into trouble.    It's only a confession, but a jury or judge can be concerned if the confession contains higher level crimes like aggravated assault or sexual assault type offenses.

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