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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Options After a Felony Dismissal

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California


    Greetings! Excuse me if this is in the wrong section, I wasn't sure where to place it...

    I have a question about what actions one can take after being arrested, charged, and then having the case dismissed before a jury trial takes place.

    Situation: A citizen is suspected of committing a felony, is arrested, bails out, meets with public defender, preliminary hearing takes place, jury trial date is set, last day for trial comes up, and the case is dismissed because there is no time left.

    Is there anything the citizen can do in this situation to punish the police department or district attorney's office for arresting him or her for a crime that they were not convicted of or pleaded guilty to?

    Thanks!
    ~hb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,407

    Default Re: Options After a Felony Dismissal

    An arrest requires only probable cause. If a preliminary hearing was held and a court found that there was sufficient evidence to bind you over for trial, then there apparently existed probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that you committed the crime.

    There is no system to allow people to sue the police or the DA if they are not found guilty. We, the people, could not afford the costs of such a system. Generally such a suit would only be permitted when there exists some proof of intentional or reckless malfeasance by the involved agencies.

    So, this was for a felony and time ran out? What "time" allegedly ran out? It could be they dropped it only to re-file it again later.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Options After a Felony Dismissal

    Wait a minute there.

    Was the dismissal with or without prejudice. If it was without prejudice the state can refile the charge and you start all over.

    And no you can't sue. No attorney would take that case.

    DA's and State Attorneys have absolute immunity from suit. Police officers have qualified immunity and it is extremely difficult to overcome that. And as already said, they had probable cause. You would thus have no case whatsoever.

    You should direct your attention to trying to stay out of trouble.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Question Re: Options After a Felony Dismissal

    Apologies, I was away from my computer for a week there.

    What happened was after the time waiver was pulled, the case was dismissed by the judge because apparently the DA was not ready in time for the case to proceed by the deadline.

    The defendant believes the arrest was based on racial prejudice, because the defendant did not match the description that whoever called the police gave the police, other than skin color.

    This is why the defendant was dissatisfied after the case was dismissed, the defendant wanted to have the trial to explain this fact; and believes the DA's office didn't so they just allowed the case to be dismissed due to time restraints.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,407

    Default Re: Options After a Felony Dismissal

    If the defendant can PROVE what he BELIEVES then he might have a case. And since it takes very little to justify a detention, and only a little more to justify an arrest, there may not be a whole lot to sue for.

    So, if the defendant has a lot of disposable cash to pay for a lawsuit, or an attorney that is doing cartwheels to take the case on contingency, this may be over unless he is re-arrested.

    And you did not mention whether or not a preliminary hearing took place. if this was a felony, a preliminary hearing would have been scheduled. If it took place and a judge found sufficient probable cause to bind the matter over for trial, any claim of the defendant’s as to unlawful racial prejudice will have been greatly weakened.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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