Friday, April 18, 2014

Ithaca Lawyer: When is a Dismissal Really a Dismissal with New York State Tickets?

Sweet words from a judge:  "Your charges are dismissed!"

But are they? Can they be re-filed? Can it (the charges) come back to haunt you. Is it really in a sense over?

I recently had a phone call. The person wanted to know if the judge dismissed their case how is it now possible that they had received a letter from the District Attorney stating that the charges were re-filed and now they needed to return to court.

In their particular situation the judge had made an error. The information on the tickets was incorrect and the judge just threw the charges out without a ADA (assistant district attorney) being present.

The KEY: 

"This" dismissal was "without prejudice" though, which means in lay terms, that they (the charges) can be refiled by the police/law enforcement/DA (these are all charging authorities). This is usually reserved for those situations where there was a procedural error.

If the dismissal was "with prejudice" then this would have been a different story because then they can't resurrect (refile) the charges. With prejudice is like a finding of not guilty. The prosecution is barred from refiling.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

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Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers