What does it mean if my charges were dismissed?

What does it mean if the charge is dismissed?
In Arizona it means the State, City or County has decided not to proceed with its case against you.  It means that if you are asked on any application whether you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can answer “no.”  However, the fact that you were charged with a crime will remain in your records, and there may be occasions when you will have to explain that.  For example, if you apply for a teaching certificate, you will have to submit to a criminal background check.  That will reveal the misdemeanor charge and you may be asked to explain the circumstances.

It is very important to remember there are two kinds of dismissals in Arizona

A “dismissal without prejudice” – this means the prosecutor is able to refile the charges at a future date if it chooses to do so. However usually within a relatively short time frame. Within a year of the incident date or within 180 days of the dismissal without prejudice whichever is the later or longer period. It depends on the individual facts of your case and the decision making process of the prosecuting agency. It would be a good idea to contact an attorney and ask for help. A dismissal without prejudice is the most common type of dismissal in Arizona.

A “dismissal with prejudice” means the case can not be refiled and and for all intents and purposes the case is over.These types of dismissals are exceedingly rare in Arizona.


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