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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Difference Between "Charges Dropped" or "Case Dismissed"

    I would like to know what the difference between having one's criminal charges "dropped" versus having the "case dismissed"?

    In general what is the difference (if any), who decides what direction to take (DA, Judge, police), and more importantly what are the consequences on your criminal record with each outcome. I became confused about this distinction when it was reported this week that Kanye West's assault charges were "dropped" or "dismissed" after completing requirements imposed by some authority (it sounds like some kind of pretrial diversion agreement).

    Thanks in advance for anyone able to help clarify this for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Difference Between "Charges Dropped" or "Case Dismissed"

    While the terms are often used interchangeably, and just as often incorrectly by the media, charges that are "dropped" are usually those where the prosecuting agency has chosen to no longer pursue the matter. Only a court can "dismiss" a case. When someone completes the requirements of some sort of diversion, the case is usually brought back up in court and dismissed.
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

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