If the DA drops charges against adefendant, can the case be reopened at a later date?

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If the DA drops charges against adefendant, can the case be reopened at a later date?

Fourth degree assault for domestic. The DA decided not to press charge, but the police officer thinks the DA should. Can the charges be reinstated after the DA drops them?

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the DA could re-instate the charges. Having charges dropped is not a determination or adjudication of them; therefore, the ban against being tried twice on the same charges is not brought into play. It's unlikely the DA would do this--dropping the charges probably represents the DA's honest evaluation of the strength or worth of the case--but the DA would still have the opportunity to to bring charges. This puts a premium on the alleged assailant keeping his or her nose clean and NOT doing anything which would prompt the authorities to revisit the issue and reinstate charges, possibly with additional charges, for a later assault or infraction, added as well.


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