If a crime is committed involving arrest and court appearance - and then case is dismissed within 120 days - what does it exactly mean? Does it mean the person was CONVICTED and then case was DISMISSED? (this is what I'm getting from some of the sites) I understand the arrest is on record but does that mean that there is a conviction followed by dismissal or no conviction at all?

1 Answer 1


If a case is dismissed, then it means the charge was thrown out of court.

They were not even tried, much less convicted.

  • 1
    Agreed. If someone is convicted and then the conviction is reversed, that would be a form of an acquittal, not a dismissal of the charges. Dismissed in this context is equivalent to dropping the charges.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 20:12
  • I would expect "dismissal" to be a form of "acquital" - certainly as far as a defence of "autrefois acquit" for further changes relating to the same action. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 20:53
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    @MartinBonner An acquittal is what a jury does when they find a defendant innocent. A dismissal is what a judge does when they determine that the charges either are defective or have insufficient grounds for a trial.
    – Cicero
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 21:26
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    @MartinBonner furthermore, if a judge dismisses a criminal case, the prosecutor may be able to charge the defendant again in the future, for the same crime. This could happen, for example, if new evidence comes to light.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 4:29
  • Charges can be dismissed "with prejudice" which means that, no, they can't try the defendant again. On the other hand, they can dismissed "without prejudice."
    – Mary
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 4:36

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