Dismissal With Prejudice

What does Dismissal With Prejudice mean?

If a judge dismisses a criminal case with prejudice this means the state must consider the criminal actions against the defendant as settled and cannot file charges against them in the future for the same criminal action. Prejudice in this sense does not have anything to do with the common understanding of prejudice based on race or gender but rather is strictly a legal term.

The court has the power to dismiss a criminal case for a variety of reasons: if the case was brought in bad faith, there was prosecutorial misconduct, the rules of the court were not followed or the state did not prosecute the case within a reasonable time and violated the defendant's right to a speedy. The court can make the dismissal on their own volition or they can rule if favor of a motion filed by the defendant.

Dismissed with prejudice also differs from a judge dismissing a case without prejudice which allows for future indictments.

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