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How long can a case go on before it gets dismissed?

Milwaukee, WI |

My case has been on going for over a year now. The judge won't accept any plea from me because of the "language" of the paperwork from the DA. The DA has tried several times now to change it to satisfy the judge but the judge won't budge. Without getting into the specifics, the charge was dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor (not sure if that matters) but I can't plead to anything.

Is there a time limit for how long this goes on? Can I be recharged if the case does get dismissed after they figure out the "language"?

The charge was theft, which was dropped to a misdemeanor. I am not able to plead because the judge is being difficult and simply refuses to accept a plea. My hearing has been pushed off 4 times, and he still isn't satisfied. Karyn, the charge was filed against me 1 year ago. It still hasn't been resolved and I have been to court 9 times to date. Maybe I didn't make my question clear, but what I meant was, is there a time limit to how long a case can go on without being resolved? It's not that I dont want to plea, it's that the judge simply won't accept one.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The ability of the State to refile dismissed charges against you depends on the statute of limitations and the manner in which the case is dismissed. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A case as old as your is probably past the statute of limitations.

    Cases can conceivably go on forever, although you have a right to speedy trial if you demand it. That may or may not be a good idea, and you should speak to a lawyer about helping you decide based on the details of your case.

    John Yetter


  2. if it gets dismissed without prejudice, then yes you can be recharged. Most felonies can be charged up to 6 years (sexual assaults are longer); most misdemeanors can be charged up to 3 years.


  3. With all due respect to the first attorney, he does not practice in Wisconsin. I agree with the second answer.

    Also, keep in mind that the time your case has been pending does not count towards any statute of limitations. The time limit for the statute tolled when the complaint was filed against you.

    Is the reason you are saying you can't plead because the judge is being difficult? Or are you saying that you want the benefit of a misdemeanor without having to plead to it? If the latter, you should be able to enter an Alford plea. An Alford plea allows you to maintain your innocence while receiving the benefit of the plea bargain. The court does not, however, have to accept an Alford plea.

    Good luck!

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