Cases in California can be dismissed in one of two ways – with prejudice or without prejudice. Often the word “prejudice” is associated with unfair bias, which may lead to the assumption that when a case is dismissed “with prejudice” that it is due to some form of discrimination. However, that is not the case. In the legal context of a dismissal, “prejudice” refers to a loss of certain rights or privileges.
For a case to be dismissed with prejudice means it is dismissed permanently and cannot be brought back to court. For example, a judge will do this if they deem the lawsuit insufficient or frivolous. On the other hand, a case that is dismissed without prejudice is only temporarily dismissed. This means the plaintiff is allowed to refile charges, alter the claim, or bring it to another court. Therefore, you in fact can face the same charges again.
If charges are dismissed without prejudice, this typically means that jurisdiction does not lie within the scope of the court or the charges were filed improperly. In other cases, the plaintiff may choose to voluntarily dismiss charges without prejudice with the right to refile the charges at another date. In Los Angeles, the prosecution can voluntarily dismiss DUI charges while waiting for the BAC tests. This is so they can take the necessary steps to build a case against the defendant when they decide to refile the charges.
Pay Attention to the Time Limit
The charges might be refiled, but there is a time limit in which this can take place. After a set period of time, the statute of limitations on your case will expire. To determine what this time frame is, it is wise to seek counsel from a DUI lawyer who understands the boundaries in Los Angeles.
From there, they can help you understand all aspects of your criminal trial. It is very important not to forget about a DUI case that has been thrown out without prejudice in California. These charges can have life-altering consequences if refiled. Penalties are even stricter for subsequent DUI charges or if you caused a DUI accident and someone was injured.
The Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor is a great place to seek legal counsel. At our firm, we offer experienced attorneys who are committed to helping you make informed decisions so your case can go as smoothly as possible.