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How can dismissed case be reopened?

Los Angeles, CA |

i have a friend whose felony case reopened after being dismissed by a judge, police came to his home today to look for him saying they had a warrant for his arrest but never showed it and when asked why they just said the original judge sent a warrant for his arrest.nothing ever showed up at his home and he was never contacted by any court or lawyer about this case being reopened.

forgot to add this is a felony case, a different city judge had issued first warrant in march thats when he got arrested for gun possession, drug possessions with intent after search. case got dismissed after preliminary since first lawyer he got only went for preliminary court. she said it was another fee after that stage. pd got case dismissed and judge agreed not enough evidence. today same cops came from first search warrant to try to arrest him saying it was involving the same case that the original judge from their city issued an arrest warrant.

Attorney Answers 3


Either new charges have been filed or the dismissal was at prelim and the DA usually can charge the same charges a second time.

Also, the charges can either have been increased from a misdemeanor to a felony or vice versa.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

Elliot Zarabi

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The short answer is: Yes, at least once.
Some factors that may affect how many times the case can be dismissed and refiled are 1) what the charges are, 2) why it was dismissed and 3) how long it's been since the date of the underlying conduct. I'm sure there are others but those are the most common.

There is no requirement that they inform him or his previous lawyer. Though it might have been the courteous thing to do, especially if his previous lawyer requested that.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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It occasionally happens that a District Attorney will elect to dismiss a felony case due to lack of sufficient evidence or for procedural reasons such as coming up on the deadline for bringing a case to trial but not being ready to try it. Even though THAT case is dismissed the D.A. can refile it, if the statute of limitations has not expired. To refile, the D.A. will just have the case re-typed (with any new or deleted charges) and then refiled with a new case number with the court clerk. The case will then proceed as if it were a brand new case. It is not the Judge that re-opens dismissed cases, but a Judge would sign an arrest warrant if one is requested. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the case, the D.A. will write a citation letter to the defendant to come back to court at a certain date and time. It looks like, in this case, a new warrant was issued.

Your friend should definitely contact, and possible retain, an experienced criminal defense attorney; or, if the Public Defender had previously represented the friend the P.D.'s office should be contacted. Definitely do not just forget about this; it will not just 'go away.'

Although I am an experienced CA criminal defense and appeals attorney, I can not 'guarantee' that my answer is entirely accurate, since I have not reviewed all of the factual circumstances of the case, nor have I discussed those circumstances fully with the questioner. The fact that I have answered this question does not establish an attorney client relationship between the questioner and my self or my office.

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