Tahlequah Attorney BlogThe Difference Between Dismissal With Prejudice and Dismissal Without Prejudice

A Dismissal Without Prejudice, Is Still a Dismissal


Video Transcribed: Dismissal with prejudice or dismissal without prejudice, what’s the difference? Hi, my name is Ryan Cannonie, I’m an attorney in Tahlequah with Wirth Law Office, and I get this question occasionally. Well, the state has offered a dismissal or offered to dismiss. That’s great. And then I’ll say, “But they’re dismissing without prejudice.” And my client will look at me kind of confused. Well, a dismissal is a dismissal, right?

Not really. So when a case gets dismissed that’s what you want. Especially a criminal case. If you get a… And this video is more about criminal prosecution-type cases. If you get a case dismissed, if the AG, the assistant district attorney, assistant federal US attorney, whoever you’re dealing with dismisses a case, decides not to pursue it, prosecuting agency is done with it, that’s what you want. That’s the gold star.

If you can get a dismissal with prejudice, though, that’s the platinum star. That’s what you want. That’s the top thing you can get of benefit to you. So why is it different? Well, a dismissal with prejudice means that they are not going to refile. Not only are they saying they’re not going to, but they also can’t. Dismissal with prejudice means it’s done. It’s over, it’s gone. You don’t have to look over your shoulder for the statute of limitations.

And if you’re wondering what statute limitation means, look at some of my other videos, but you’re done. You’re complete. Sometimes you have to pay some of the court costs with it. That’s okay because by saying that you’ve made it so they cannot recharge you. Now, a dismissal without prejudice, is still a dismissal, still a good win, still something you want, but without prejudice means that, should they discover something new or should a victim or a witness decide they want to cooperate six months later, they can still refile that against you.

So you still have a little bit of kind of looking over your shoulder throughout the statute of limitations on that. Now on dismissal without prejudice, do they refile those? Very rarely, but it happens. I’ve actually filed one myself when I was a prosecutor.

We dismissed because of a witness issue witness got on board. We were good to go, went back and refiled, and ended up convicting that person. So a dismissal without prejudice. Yeah, it still kind of leaves you hanging for a little bit, but it’s still a dismissal. And if your attorney can get you dismissal of either type, that’s a good win. But if you can get that dismissal with prejudice.

And if you get a dismissal with prejudice and they ask you to pay the court costs, yeah, it sucks to have to pay some court costs on that. I understand that, but that’s a win because by paying those court costs, by getting the dismissal that way, they’re barred from recharging you. They’re not going to be able to recharge you.

And you don’t have to worry about at least that governmental agency charging you. Now, if you are wondering, well, what if we’re looking at state, federal, or tribal, there’s a whole other concept that comes into that and that’s in another video.

But bare bones of it, dismissal with prejudice means it will not be charged or filed against you in the future, without prejudice means it potentially could. So if you have any more questions about this, if you have any concerns, if you’ve got a criminal case going and want to talk to someone, give us a call. For a free consultation with a Tahlequah Criminal Defense Attorney call the Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah.

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