Dismissal Without Prejudice

What does Dismissal Without Prejudice mean?

If a defendant's case has been dismissed without prejudice it means the government has decided not to continue to pursue the criminal case against the defendant at this time. It does not, however, mean that the defendant will never be tried or that the state may not decide to indict or retry the defendant for the same criminal charge at a later date.

There are a variety of reasons a case may be dismissed without prejudice, although the grounds must be constitutional and not violate the rights of the accused. For instance, if the court decides the government is not ready to proceed with the criminal case or the witnesses are not available, the court may decide to dismiss a case without prejudice.

Dismissing a case without prejudice then indicting the defendant at a later time does not constitute double jeopardy for the defendant. This dismissal also varies with dismissing a case with prejudice, which bars the state from pursing criminal charges against the defendant at a later date.


Additional Resources

Justipedia: dismissal without prejudice


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