If you’ve been charged with a crime in Maryland, you may have heard the Latin term “nolle prosequi.” But what does it mean? How might it affect your case?
Nolle prosequi, also called a “nolle pros,” simply means that the prosecutor has chosen to drop the charges against you and will no longer pursue the case. Rather than taking your case to trial, the State’s Attorney has decided not to prosecute you for the alleged crime.
This decision can occur at any point before a verdict is reached in your case. The prosecutor may choose to enter a nolle prosequi for a variety of reasons – evidence issues, witness problems, a weak case. Whatever the reason, it means your charges are dismissed and you are free to go.
The prosecutor has wide discretion in deciding whether to grant a nolle prosequi. Of course, we will present reasons why the nolle pros should be given.
While getting a nolle pros is usually good news for defendants, there are some things to keep in mind. A nolle pros is not the same as being acquitted or found not guilty. In fact, the charges can be re-filed against you in the future, as long as the statute of limitations has not expired.
Additionally, a nolle pros does not necessarily mean there won’t be other consequences related to your charges. You may still face immigration issues, problems with an employer, or other administrative actions. And if you were out on bail, you may not receive your bond money back immediately when the charges are dropped.
It should be noted that a nolle pros is similar to a stet. If you are granted a stet, your case is placed on the inactive docket.
The bottom line? A nolle pros disposition is generally favorable for defendants, dismissing your criminal charges. But there may still be lingering effects, so be sure to consult an experienced Ocean City criminal defense lawyer to understand how it impacts your situation.
While nolle prosequi is a favorable outcome, it’s not the only one. Other possible results in a criminal case include:
- Being found innocent
- Being found guilty
- Getting a probation before judgment (PBJ)
- Getting “stet” status — where the case becomes inactive
Each outcome has its own implications, so it’s best to discuss them with your lawyer.
If you are facing criminal charges, a defense attorney can help. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh criminal defense matters.
Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and continues to meet your legal needs. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or via our website for a free consultation.