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?


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

They were not even tried, much less convicted.

  • 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 Jan 12 '17 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. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jan 12 '17 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 Jan 12 '17 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 Jan 13 '17 at 4:29

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