If you have been acquitted of any criminal charges that have been brought against you this means you have been freed of these charges. When the jury comes to a not guilty verdict or if a judge closes your case, you have been acquitted. Double jeopardy applies here and you case will not be appealed if you are acquitted of the criminal charges. A judge may dismiss charges if there is not enough evidence to try a person. A judge or jury may not always agree with the charges brought against someone by the prosecutor, and thus, acquittals arise. Prosecutors are supposed to gather as much evidence and bring this forth to prove that their charges are evidence is valid. If for some reason even the prosecutor believes there is not enough evidence to charge someone, they may drop the charges. But this is not the same as an acquittal.
When discussing dismissals, this may occur before or after the case even begins. Lack of evidence plays a huge part in deciding to dismiss a case. There is also a possibility that the prosecution has no solidifying cause for the charges. By having a case dismissed, money, time, and resources are preserved.
If there have been any violations of constitutional rights a judge may dismiss the case, this typically influences larger problems to come about and this is not good for the court or the prosecutor. Dismissed charges can be filed again because they were never tried in front of a judge. However, once you are acquitted those charges cannot be filed against you again, at least not pursuant to the same case.
Both dismissed and acquitted charges may show up on your criminal record. It will show as dismissed or acquitted, but they will not be removed from your record unless your record has been expunged. Law vary from state to state with record to charges on your criminal record, job applications may ask that you explain any criminal history and while these charges appear on your record as dismissed, they may still affect you in some way.
If you or someone you know has been accused of criminal charges, it is wise to speak with a skilled Decatur criminal lawyer. There is always a possibility that you can have your charges, dropped, dismissed, or be acquitted. You are innocent until proven guilty; with the right attorney you may remain innocent.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and acquittal vs. dismissal.