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Juliana, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1651
Experience:  Former prosecutor with 4 years of experience, criminal justice degree
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Can someone explain null process? I have a friend who was

Resolved Question:

can someone explain null process? I have a friend who was charged under one case number; however the state attorney did a null process and the charges was refile under a different case number ***** my friend was not re-booked..he had a jury trial and was sentenced to life. Shouldn't he have been re-booked when the prosecution open a new case filing?
Also the state involved is Florida.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Juliana replied 5 years ago.


Thanks for your question.

I believe you are referring to "nolle prosequi," which is a Latin phrase that literally means "no prosecution." It simply means that the prosecutor has dropped the charges, however, with a nolle prosequi, the State can refile the charges against the defendant, provided that speedy trial time has not expired.

Depending on the method/circumstances under which the charges against your friend were re-filed, it may or may not have been necessary for him to be re-arrested and re-booked. It's really difficult for me to know exactly why he was not re-booked without knowing all the details of how the re-filing was accomplished.

Hope this is helpful to you in answering your question regarding nolle prosequi.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He was convicted based on charges he was inappropriately touch some young ladies friends..which the family believe is a lie because it there belief the girls where lying to get out of trouble with there parents for having guy friends at there home. The state dropped the charges the same week a Jury was convened and then refile them under a different number. According to the "victims" he never had sex with them so they only took the word of the kids to prosecute him. I am trying to understand why would the case be drop only to be refile under a different number.

Expert:  Juliana replied 5 years ago.

It's impossible for me to comment on whether he was innocent or guilty of his charges. That's the job of the jury who heard his case.

A prosecutor does not have to explain why he has decided to nolle prosequi a case. A nolle prosequi simply means that even though charges have been filed and prosecution of the case has begun, the prosecutor does not want to continue prosecuting it at that time. Typically, it means that the prosecutor does not have enough evidence *at that time* to continue prosecuting the case. And, after doing a nolle prosequi, the prosecutor has the option of refiling the charges.

Keep in mind that prosecutors, as well as law enforcement officers, have a great deal of discretion in deciding whether to make an arrest, whether to file charges, and even whether to continue with prosecution of a particular case after charges have been filed -- that is, the prosecutor has the discretion to nolle prosequi a case and refile it at a later date, or, forget about it altogether. Not all of their actions can explained or understood, because again, they have a lot of discretion.

So, if and when the prosecutor does choose to refile a case that has been nolled, t may very well be assigned a new case number. The case number ***** ***** an administrative detail that really has no bearing on the case itself - it's merely a way for the court to keep track of the case.

Hope this helps.