Legal Question in Criminal Law in District of Columbia

Before the prosecutor made a profer to the judge, she said she wanted to review my record. the case was continued. At the next hearing, she said she would like to have the case disposed of with no further proceeding for the government. Isn't this like an acquital or final judicial disposition? The judge dismissed the case.

Asked on 11/28/15, 10:06 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Dismissal and acquittal are not the same thing. An acquittal is a decision on the merits, in which the trier of fact (either a jury or a judge) finds that the prosecutor did not prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When a case is dismissed, there is no decision on the merits.

Ordinarily, prosecutors are free to re-file a case that has been dismissed at any time until the statute of limitations runs out. They can't do that after an acquittal, since re-trying someone who has been acquitted would be double jeopardy. But note that I said "ordinarily." There may be reasons why your case can't be re-filed. Even if it can, there may be good reason to doubt that the prosecutor will make a second attempt. If you had a lawyer in this case, he or she should be able to give you a better sense of what might happen in the future.

Good luck.

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Answered on 11/29/15, 12:57 pm

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