Rules and legal intricacies can affect whether your case is dismissed and if it is with or without prejudice. In general, a dismissal with prejudice means the case is over, and you cannot have it reopened. Conversely, dismissed without prejudice means the prosecutor can refile the case within a specific time frame.
You must discuss these possibilities with a California criminal defense lawyer from Simmrin Law Group.
What Is Dismissed with Prejudice?
In a California civil or criminal case, either party can file a motion for dismissal that will terminate the case. Dismiss with prejudice is when the charges are dropped, and you are free. You cannot be tried for the same case in another court as that would constitute Double Jeopardy.
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What Are Valid Reasons for Dismissal with Prejudice?
The main reason you will see a dismissal with prejudice is that there was a violation of your constitutional rights, and there is no way the prosecution can fix that. For example, there was an arrest without probable cause. The prosecution cannot go back to the time of the arrest and make up a reason. Therefore the result is dismissal with prejudice.
What Is Dismissed without Prejudice?
There are three reasons a case can be dismissed without prejudice in California. First, there is a lack of jurisdiction. This means the crime occurred outside the court’s jurisdiction, and they cannot handle your charges.
Second, improper service of process is when the court did not notify you of the proceedings properly. Last, improper venue is when it is appropriate for another court to handle the case. These procedural issues do not reflect your case’s substantive issues.
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What Is Double Jeopardy?
The constitution prohibits double jeopardy, which means no person can be tried twice for the same criminal charge. Dismissal with prejudice exists if the court empaneled a jury, the first witness was sworn in, and the court acquitted the defendant. However, one court can convict you of a crime, and a higher court can overturn the decision and retry the defendant, and it is not double jeopardy.
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What Is the Role of Prejudice in the Legal System?
Essentially the term prejudice in the legal space makes the decision final, and it cannot be asserted or tried by another court in the future. Once a court forms a decision with prejudice, it is final, and you are free from the legal troubles it presents.
Are Your Legal Troubles Over?
If the case is dismissed with prejudice, your legal troubles are over regarding this specific charge. However, if it is without prejudice, you will live in fear because the state can take legal action at any moment against you for the same offense. The prosecution has until the statute of limitations expires to bring legal action against you.
A criminal defense attorney at Simmrin Law Group can alleviate the pressure of waiting for another charge to begin.
What Is Voluntary Dismissal?
The prosecutor, the party who files the case, can voluntarily dismiss it when they determine an insufficient cause for moving forward. The judge will decide whether it is a dismissal with or without prejudice. The plaintiff or prosecutor will have no say in the judge’s decision even though they moved to dismiss.
What Is an Involuntary Dismissal?
An involuntary dismissal happens when there is something inherently wrong with the prosecution’s case. It can be a procedural or substantive issue. The judge will decide whether it is with or without prejudice.
When they dismiss without prejudice, it gives the prosecution more time to prepare a valid argument and retry the case. While the prosecutor will have more time to prepare, so will your criminal defense lawyer in California. The judge can also decide to dismiss with prejudice when the prosecution continues to ask for delays and dismissal and does not address the issue at hand.
Is There a Delay to the Statute of Limitations?
There are many statutes of limitations for legal manners, and when there is a case dismissal without prejudice, the deadline does not increase. The prosecution will still need to refile before the original statute of limitations for the specific offenses. If the prosecution delays refiling, the case will automatically be dismissed with prejudice, and you will be free from legal troubles.
What Is the Dismissal Process?
Usually, your criminal defense lawyer will file a motion to initiate the dismal process, and the other side will have the opportunity to respond to the motion. There are two ways to file for dismissal: the first is when the plaintiff files a motion for voluntary dismissal, and the second is when the defense lawyer files a motion for involuntary dismissal.
How Long Can a Case Be Dismissed without Prejudice?
The answer to this question depends since a dismissal without prejudice will be contingent on the charges you are facing. Every criminal charge in California has a different statute of limitations. Suppose your case is dismissed within a year of the statute and the statute is two years; there will be one year left where the prosecution refiles against you.
What Should I Do if My Case Was Dismissed without Prejudice?
A dismissal without prejudice is scary because you must go through the court process again. Consult with your criminal defense lawyer to determine how long is left in the statute of limitations and what the prosecution will likely do. Even though they represent you, they may not get notice of a refiling, so when you receive the notice, ensure you call your California criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Criminal Defense Lawyers in California Can Help
When you receive a dismissal with prejudice, you will walk away and move on with your life. However, dismissal without prejudice means the case is put on hold for now, and there will be a refiling. You need a California criminal defense lawyer who can prepare for either dismissal action.
The goal is to receive a dismissal with prejudice as that is what will give you your life back, but we will also prepare for the alternative. Simmrin Law Group has been defending clients for decades, and we specialize in criminal law to offer our clients the best defense. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.