Nolle Prosequi

What does it mean when a case is nolle prosequi?

Nolle Prosequi is a Latin phrase that means “unwilling to prosecute”, used in criminal cases. Nolle prosequi means that when there is insufficient evidence in a case to prove the defendant guilty then the court can suspend the charges against the defendant. The important thing which one should consider in nolle prosequi is that in these cases only the charges are suspended by the court or prosecution on the basis of lack of evidence, witness, and other ground facts. 

Can a nolle prosequi case be reopened?

Yes, since nolle prosequi does not conclude an acquittal if the case is not dismissed through a complete trial. The defendant in nolle prosequi will not be considered as acquitted in the front of the court. The court or prosecution can at any time open the case and can call the defendant to submit his statement in the court.

If the plaintiff finds strong evidence in the future or the same alleged person is found guilty in another same case then the court can relate the facts of both cases and can proceed with both cases at the same time.

What are examples of nolle prosequi?

A is a plaintiff and filed the complaint against B (defendant) that B assaulted him in his room. The court demands evidence such as a witness and a medical report from the plaintiff. A provides the relevant documents but the court is not satisfied that the accused is lacking grounds for prosecution. The reasoning can be following a) B proved that he was not at the mentioned place b) Medical report is not satisfactory and assault is not completely proved c) There are conflicts in the statement of the witnesses. The court suspended the charges against defendant B, now it will be called nolle prosequi. The defendant is not acquitted by the court, only the charges are suspended on the basis of lack of evidence and witness.

If after suspension of charges, the plaintiff finds any strong evidence which can prove his allegation he can request the court to reopen the case and consider the submitted evidence. The court also has the power that If the alleged person is found guilty in another same type of case with the same facts then the court can check the previous record and can proceed with both cases at the same time.

Another important fact in nolle prosequi is the term “Double jeopardy”. It means that no person can be prosecuted twice for the same offense. If a person is on a nolle prosequi by the court then he should remind them that this term is not applicable in the nolle prosequi. He can call anytime in the future in the same case or same type of another case by the court or prosecution.

Does nolle prosequi mean dismissed?

In nolle prosequi it is not considered an acquittal and in some cases it may not be dismissed permanently. If it is dismissed without prejudice the defendant can call anytime by the court and prosecution if they find any new evidence or witness. If it’s dismissed with prejudice, it is permanently dismissed.

On a daily basis hundreds of alleged persons get free from incarceration on the base of nolle prosequi. In our society, many people file a complaint against each other only to defame other or personal aggression. Then the court considers all facts, evidence and if the allegations are not based on facts and evidence, the court suspends the charges against the defendant.

Author: LegalPeak