June 17, 2022 | Criminal Defense
Being arrested for an alleged crime in Louisville can be one of the worst things in your life. It is confusing, stressful, and scary. On the other hand, having your criminal case dismissed can be one of the best days of your life.
Generally, when your case is dismissed, it means that the charges are dropped. There is no conviction. However, there are different types of dismissals. Therefore, it is important to know what dismissals mean and how they affect you.
What is A Dismissal Without Prejudice?
When you hear that your Louisville criminal case has been dismissed, it may sound as if the charges are permanently dropped. However, that is not necessarily the case if the dismissal is without prejudice. A dismissal without prejudice means that your case is dismissed, but the prosecution can refile the case against you in the future; it is still possible that you will receive a criminal conviction.
What Are Reasons That A Case May Be Dismissed Without Prejudice?
If the case can just be filed again, why would it be dismissed without prejudice? Usually, a criminal case is dismissed without prejudice if there are problems with the prosecution’s case that may be fixed at a later date. For example, if the prosecution’s case is based on wrongfully obtained evidence, the case may be dismissed without prejudice to allow the prosecution to perform more investigation or evaluation of their case.
Another example of when the prosecution may dismiss your criminal case without prejudice is if the prosecution’s case is weak. In that situation, the prosecution may dismiss so it can refile the case with lesser charges.
This means that your criminal case may be dismissed at any time, depending on the facts. If the prosecution is able to fix the problems with their case within a reasonable amount of time, they may refile the criminal case.
How is the Dismissal Of Your Criminal Case Good For You?
Even though a dismissal without prejudice does not mean the case is over, it is still a good thing. If the prosecution does not refile the case by the time the statute of limitations runs out, then the law will prohibit the prosecution from refiling.
Importantly, if the prosecution dismisses a case without prejudice, it does not toll the statute of limitations. Also, dismissing without prejudice and refiling a case creates a long delay in the prosecution of the case.
This can make it more difficult for the prosecution to prove its case against you; evidence may get old or become damaged; witnesses may forget what happened or move away. Therefore, even though a dismissal without prejudice is not an absolute dismissal, it can effectively be the end of the criminal case against you.
What Should You Do If Your Louisville Criminal Case Is Dismissed Without Prejudice?
The prosecution can re-file their charges at any time before the statute of limitations expires. Therefore, it is important for you to remain vigilant if your case is dismissed without prejudice. You need to make sure that the court has an updated address for you so that it can send you notices regarding your case, including if there were any charges re-filed.
Also, you need to make sure you contact your attorney if the charges against you are re-filed. Your attorney likely will not receive notice that charges were re-filed against you, so you will need to take that initiative. If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact a criminal defense lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC for help.