Sometimes, the court system in California dismisses criminal cases. The judge can dismiss a case either with prejudice or without prejudice. The prosecution can refile charges if a case gets dismissed without prejudice.
So, why would the court dismiss a case without prejudice? Judges often dismiss cases this way to give the prosecution time to work on the case. It allows them to have another chance at securing a conviction. Keep reading to learn more about dismissals in Los Angeles, California.
Basic Information About Dismissing a Case in California
The legal system in California allows individuals to file a motion to dismiss if they are brought to court. Motions to dismiss are used in both civil and criminal cases. In criminal cases, these motions are made after initial hearings in a case.
This means a motion cannot be made until after an individual’s arraignment hearing. The court will tell individuals what charges they are facing at their arraignment hearing. Individuals can also plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty at this hearing.
After the arraignment hearing, a lawyer can focus on investigating the charges an individual faces. They can then choose to file a motion to dismiss under Penal Code (PEN) §991 or Penal Code §995. PEN §991 covers motions to dismiss for misdemeanor charges. PEN §995 deals with felony charges.
Review Misdemeanor and Felony Charges in Los Angeles
As we mentioned, a lawyer can file a motion to dismiss for either misdemeanor or felony charges. Misdemeanor charges are considered less serious than felony accusations. However, a conviction for either a misdemeanor or a felony can lead to:
- Court fines
- Time behind bars
Additionally, there are certain charges in California that are considered “wobblers.” The prosecution can treat wobblers as misdemeanors or felonies. You may recognize driving under the influence (DUI) as a wobbler in California.
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can work to determine if you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges. A lawyer can also focus on filing the correct motion to dismiss for your charges. Get personalized help handling charges by calling us at (310) 862-0199.
Dismissing Charges With or Without Prejudice
Judges in California can dismiss charges either with or without prejudice. Charges dismissed without prejudice can be filed again by the prosecution. The court dismisses charges without prejudice for a number of reasons. For example, the judge may dismiss charges in this manner because:
- They don’t have subject matter jurisdiction
- They don’t have personal jurisdiction
- They are not the right venue to handle the case
Dismissing a case without prejudice gives the prosecution time to adjust their case. They can then refile charges when they feel prepared. However, they are still subject to the statute of limitations. This means that they only have so long to refile charges.
Note that charges dismissed with prejudice cannot be brought back. The judge ends a case by dismissing it with prejudice. Additionally, the court usually will not allow the prosecution to repeatedly file charges, even if a case is dismissed without prejudice multiple times.
Reasons the Prosecution Refiles Charges in California
Charges dismissed without prejudice can get filed again by the prosecution. In some cases, the prosecution will use this delay to gather additional evidence. For example, let’s say you are facing DUI charges in Los Angeles.
It often takes time for blood alcohol content (BAC) tests to come back after a DUI arrest. The prosecution may not have the results of a BAC test initially. This could cause the court to dismiss the charges. However, once the test results come in the prosecution can refile the charges.
A Los Angeles DUI lawyer could help in this situation. A lawyer could take steps to discredit the results of a BAC test. Your lawyer could even request a sample of the blood to run independent tests. Your lawyer could also work to show that you were stopped without reason.
We’ll focus on getting your charges dismissed with prejudice. You can also count on us to focus on getting your charges reduced. Find out more by reaching out to us right now.
Find Out Why a Case Would Be Dismissed Without Prejudice
Want to know why the court would dismiss a case without prejudice? Often, the court takes this step to give the prosecution a chance to refile charges. A Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you focus on getting your charges dismissed. Find out more about your options by contacting us to get a free consultation.
You can easily reach us if you call (310) 862-0199. We also have an online contact form for you.