What Does It Mean When a Charge is Dismissed? | Scartelli
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What Does It Mean When a Charge is Dismissed?

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.
Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

A person is officially accused of a crime when the prosecutor presses charges. A charge dismissal occurs when the judge or jury finds that there is not enough evidence to support the criminal charge, and ceases the court proceedings. In some cases, a charge may be dismissed before it reaches court at all. This can happen in multiple ways.

If a charge is dismissed, the accused can avoid the long and often expensive process of going to court. However, everyone needs to understand that just because a charge has been dismissed, it doesn’t mean that your harrowing experience is over. Charge dismissals simply mean that there was insufficient evidence to prove your guilt for the moment.

In some cases, charges can be brought back after being initially dismissed. That is why it’s important to understand the different types of charge dismissals and their implications. This way, you can make sure you are prepared and have a criminal defense attorney ready to defend you. For an attorney you can call when you need them, contact Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.

Types of Charge Dismissals

There are several types of charge dismissals. Most are due to a lack of evidence, but the difference in who believed there was a lack of evidence, and whether or not the charge can be pursued later.

  • Nolle Prosequi: This type of dismissal occurs when the prosecution decides not to pursue charges against a person. If you have been told that your charges have been dropped before even going to court, it would be this type of dismissal. They may drop the charges for many reasons, including a lack of evidence.
  • No Bill Dismissal: This type of dismissal occurs when a grand jury does not issue an indictment against an accused person. Rather than the prosecution deciding there isn’t enough evidence, it is a group of your peers.
  • Case Dismissed with Prejudice: This type of dismissal is issued when a judge finds that there is not enough evidence to support the charges. When the case is dismissed by a judge like this, it cannot be brought back. All other types of dismissals do not stop a case from being brought back. Only in some extreme cases would a case dismissed with prejudice be brought back into court. It would have to be because of a later confession by the accused, proof that the judge was compromised, or worse.
  • Case Dismissed Without Prejudice: This type of dismissal occurs when a prosecutor decides to drop the charges against an accused person. This has a lot of crossover with Nolle Prosequi, in that they both include the case being dropped by the prosecutor. The difference is when they’re being dropped. In the former, it’s before the jury and judge are in contention. In this type, they’re already a factor in play. In this instance, charges are specifically allowed to be brought back at a future date.

It is also important for individuals to understand that charge dismissals are different from being found “not guilty” or acquitted in court. Not guilty verdicts result when a jury or judge finds that an accused person is innocent of the crime they were charged with. These decisions carry more weight than charge dismissals and can help accused individuals avoid future legal problems in some cases.

After A Charge Is Dismissed

It is important for individuals who have had their charges dismissed to understand the consequences, both short-term and long-term. For instance, an individual’s record may still show that they were charged with a crime, even though the charge was eventually dropped. That can affect your job prospects, your ability to fly or get loans, your relationships, and more.

Furthermore, depending on the nature of the crime and other circumstances, the dismissed charge can remain on record for up to seven years in some cases. That’s seven long years it can spend ruining your reputation.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.

If you have been charged with a crime, a good criminal defense attorney will get those charges dropped. A great criminal defense attorney will prepare you for the chance that the prosecution will try to charge you again and be there to defend you as many times as needed.

If you have been met with a criminal charge, you want an attorney who can help you long-term. The attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. are who you’re looking for. Contact us today.