What is a dismissal without prejudice?

A dismissal without prejudice is not permanent and can be reversed later—only a dismissal with prejudice guarantees that the government cannot refile charges.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Dismissal of Criminal Charges with Prejudice

Depending on the country, a felony or misdemeanor criminal proceeding which ends prematurely due to error, mistake, or misconduct, may end as being dismissed with prejudice or without prejudice. If the case ends without prejudice, the defendant may be retried. If the case ends with a dismissal with prejudice, it is over, and they cannot be re-charged.

In general, a case is dismissed with prejudice if jeopardy has attached. When a prosecution begins, jeopardy attaches – in a jury trial, it attaches when the jury is empaneled, and in a bench trial, when the first witness is sworn. In the case of a jury trial, jeopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled, and dismissal (for prosecutorial misconduct or harmful error) at that point must be with prejudice. In the case of a bench trial (trial by the judge only), jeopardy attaches when the first witness in the case is sworn.

Attorney - Michigan - Awards

Dismissal After a Trial

If a criminal case is brought to trial and the defendant is acquitted, jeopardy is attached to the case and cannot be retried (this is known as double jeopardy). If the defendant was convicted and his conviction is overturned, jeopardy is not attached.

If a person is brought to trial where they are charged with a particular crime and convicted of a lesser offense, the conviction for a lesser offense is an acquittal of any higher-level offense (for example, a conviction for second-degree murder is an acquittal of first-degree murder). If the conviction is later overturned, the maximum the defendant can be retried for is the crime to which they were convicted; any higher charge is acquitted and thus is with prejudice.

Dismissal of Criminal Charges without Prejudice

A dismissal without prejudice permits the re-indictment or retrial of a defendant on the same charge. Only nonconstitutional grounds that do not adversely affect the defendant’s rights, such as the crowding of court calendars, might be sufficient to warrant the dismissal of a criminal action without prejudice. When an aggressive Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney moves to dismiss a criminal charge, they will generally make a Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

There are specialized rules, laws, statutes, and regulations in criminal cases. If you are charged with a crime or being investigated for a crime, it is essential that you have a criminal law specialist represent you and protect you against the government. Motion to Dismiss the charges against you may be appropriate in your state or federal criminal case. A top criminal lawyer would be able to provide a free consultation for you and discuss the potential of a motion to dismiss the charges in your case. At the law firm of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our attorneys have decades of legal experience in criminal defense.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys