A Houston motorist was not quite free to drive off into the sunset on Thursday after a judge found “no probable cause” for the man’s arrest for allegedly using an illegal “license plate flipper” to avoid paying nearly $5,500 in tolls, authorities said.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office has yet to dismiss the case against Preston Cody Talbot, 27, who was arrested last week for avoiding a toll on the Sam Houston Expressway and charged with a misdemeanor, Harris County officials said. Earlier reports had incorrectly indicated that the judge had dismissed the case, police said.
"The judge found no (probable cause) but the charge remains in place," an official with the District Attorney's Office told KHOU-TV in a statement. "The DA Office must file a dismissal for a case to be dismissed, but we have not done yet so as the case remains under investigation, including points of law and developing evidence.”
Talbot is accused of installing a device in his car that puts a flipper down in front of his license plate so that cameras at toll plazas can’t read his plates. Police said he owes $5,473 in unpaid tolls.
“The case remains active,” Harris County Constable Mark Herman wrote on Facebook, following reports that the case was dismissed. “The District Attorney's Office will continue to review this case in order to determine how they will proceed.”