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Encyclopedia > Nolle prosequi
Criminal procedure
Investigating and charging crimes
Criminal investigation
Arrest warrant  · Search warrant
Probable cause  · Knock and announce
Exigent circumstance
Search and seizure  · Arrest
Right to silence  · Miranda warning (U.S.)
Grand jury
Criminal prosecution
Statute of limitations  · Nolle prosequi
Bill of attainder  · Ex post facto law
Criminal jurisdiction  · Extradition
Habeas corpus  · Bail
Inquisitorial system  · Adversarial system
Charges and pleas
Arraignment  · Indictment
Plea  · Peremptory plea
Nolo contendere (U.S.)  · Plea bargain
Presentence Investigation
Related areas of law
Criminal defenses
Criminal law  · Evidence
Civil procedure
Portals: Law  · Criminal justice

Nolle prosequi is a Latin legal phrase meaning "unwilling to pursue." It is the term used in many common law criminal jurisdictions to describe a prosecutor's application to discontinue criminal charges before trial, or in Commonwealth common law countries up until, but before verdict.[1] Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by a public officer which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual. ... A search warrant is a written warrant issued by judge or magistrate which authorizes the police to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a criminal offense, and seize the evidence. ... In United States criminal law, probable cause refers to the standard by which a police officer may make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search or obtain a warrant. ... Knock-and-announce, in United States law of criminal procedure, is an ancient common-law principle which requires law enforcement officers to announce their presence and provide residents with an opportunity to open the door to the residence when conducting a search. ... An exigent circumstance, in the American law of criminal procedure, allows law enforcement to enter a structure without a warrant, or if a they have a knock and announce warrant, without knocking and waiting for refusal under certain circumstances. ... Search and seizure is a legal procedure used in many common law whereby police or other authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a persons property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime. ... The Chicago Police Department arrests a man An arrest is the action of the police, or person acting under the law, to take a person into custody so that they may be forthcoming to answer for the commission of a crime. ... The right to silence is a legal protection enjoyed by people undergoing police interrogation or trial in certain countries. ... The Miranda warning is a police warning that is given to criminal suspects in police custody in the United States before they are asked questions relating to the commission of crimes. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... A grand jury is a type of jury, in the common law legal system, which determines if there is enough evidence for a trial. ... Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... A statute of limitations is a statute in a common law legal system that sets forth the maximum period of time, after certain events, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated. ... A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. ... An ex post facto law (from the Latin for from something done afterward) or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. ... Criminal jurisdiction is a term used in the law of criminal procedure to describe the power of a court to hear a case brought by the state accusing a criminal defendant of a violation of the law of the geographic area in which the court is located. ... Extradition is the official process by which one nation or state requests and obtains from another nation or state the surrender of a suspected or convicted criminal. ... In common law countries, habeas corpus (/heɪbiÉ™s kɔɹpÉ™s/), Latin for you [should] have the body, is the name of a legal action or writ by means of which detainees can seek relief from unlawful imprisonment. ... The word bail as a legal term means: Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that persons appearance for trial. ... An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in determining the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is solely that of an impartial referee between parties. ... The adversarial system (or adversary system) of law is the system of law, generally adopted in common law countries, that relies on the skill of the different advocates representing their partys positions and not on some neutral party, usually the judge, trying to ascertain the truth of the case. ... Arraignment is a common law term for the formal reading of a criminal complaint, in the presence of the defendant, to inform him of the charges against him. ... In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: ) is a formal charge of having committed a most serious criminal offense. ... In legal terminology, a plea is simply an answer to a claim made by someone in a civil or criminal case under common law using the adversary system. ... In the common law legal system, the peremptory pleas (pleas in bar), are pleas that set out special reasons for which a trial cannot go ahead. ... In criminal trials in some common law jurisdictions, a plea of nolo contendere means that the defendant neither admits nor disputes the charge, and is an alternative to pleading guilty or not guilty. ... A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case in which a prosecutor and a defendant arrange to settle the case against the defendant. ... A presentence investigation report (PSI) is a legal term referring to the investigation into the history of person convicted of a crime before sentencing to determine if there are extenuating circumstances which should ameliorate the sentence or a history of criminal behavior to increase the harshness of the sentence. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the process that courts will follow when hearing cases of a civil nature (a civil action, as opposed to a criminal action). ... A number of Latin terms are used in legal terminology and legal maxims. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Criminal jurisdiction is a term used in the law of criminal procedure to describe the power of a court to hear a case brought by the state accusing a criminal defendant of a violation of the law of the geographic area in which the court is located. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... In legal parlance, a trial is an event in which parties to a dispute present information (in the form of evidence) in a formal setting, usually a court, before a judge, jury, or other designated finder of fact, in order to achieve a resolution to their dispute. ...


Explanation

Generally, the application to "nolle" or "nol pros" a case is made after the filing of an information or indictment, when the prosecutor representing the state's interest is of the opinion that an adjudication of the charges is not in the interest of the public and/or that the available and admissible evidence is not sufficient to satisfy a jury beyond reasonable doubt. In most circumstances, the court with jurisdiction to hear the case must adjudicate on the application for nolle prosequi to determine where the public interest lies. In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: ) is a formal charge of having committed a most serious criminal offense. ... For the purposes of Public International Law and Private International Law, a state is a defined group of people, living within defined territorial boundaries and subject, more or less, to an autonomous legal system exercising jurisdiction through properly constituted courts. ... Reasonable doubt redirects here. ...


The frequency with which this arises depends on the nature of the administrative system in place for vetting allegations of crime before charges are laid. In some states, there is a highly centralised system. Thus, in England and Wales, the Crown Prosecution Service is the principal prosecuting authority, and is responsible for advising the police on cases for possible prosecution and reviewing all cases submitted by the police. The CPS makes the decision whether to prosecute, and determines the charge in all but minor cases. In other states, charges may be laid by the police or junior prosecutors. The ability of a senior prosecutor to seek a nolle prosequi is therefore most important because it provides a "roadblock" to vexatious prosecutions and protects civil liberties. The Crown Prosecution Service, or CPS, is a non-ministerial department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for public prosecutions of people charged with criminal offences in England and Wales. ... Civil liberties is the name given to freedoms that protect the individual from government. ...


Further, in many states, citizens have the right to prefer criminal charges as a private prosecution. In such cases, the state has the right to review the evidence in advance of the trial and to determine whether the case should be allowed to go forward. Apart from the issue of vexatiousness, one key factor may be the issue of double jeopardy. Once acquitted, a defendant cannot be tried a second time on the same charges. Private citizens do not have access to the police and other specialised investigation services. The evidence collected may therefore be inadequate to secure a conviction. So long as a jury trial has not commenced, the judgment on an application for nolle prosequi is not an adjudication on the merits of the prosecution, and so the charges may be brought again when more evidence has been collected. The word citizen may refer to: A person with a citizenship Citizen Watch Co. ... Double jeopardy is a procedural defense (and, in many countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan and India, a constitutional right) that forbids a defendant from being tried a second time for the same crime. ... For the 1980s television show, see Trial by Jury (TV). ... A judgment or judgement (see spelling note below), in a legal context, is synonymous with the formal decision made by a court following a lawsuit. ...


In some common law states, the ultimate right of supervision over the prosecutorial system lies with the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions). He or she will decide if the evidence is sufficient to justify a prosecution and provides an automatic check and balance to prevent cases of little merit proceeding. The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several criminal jurisdictions around the world. ...


Even though the power of prosecution is given to independent prosecutors such as the DPP or the CPS, the ultimate authority to prosecute or not to prosecute lies with a government minister (e.g. the Attorney-General). The government may choose at any time to discontinue a prosecution, because in its view the prosecution is against the public interest. Ultimately, the governments decision to do so is a political question.


Notes

  1. ^ A nolle prosequi can be entered at any time after the indictment or information has been signed and before verdict: R v Dunn (supra); R v Colling (1847) 2 Cox CC 184; R v Sneesby (1951) St R Qd 26; R v Economou (1989) 51 SASR 421; R v Heald (1979) Tas R 185 source: R v Michael Charles Baenisch SASC 5679 (28 June 1996) para. 12

Courts seldom adjudicate on the apllication for nolle prosequi. Instead, courts typically sign an order prepared by the prosecution or make a docket entry reflecting the case has been "nolle pros'ed."


  Results from FactBites:
 
Nolle prosequi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (584 words)
Nolle prosequi is a Latin legal phrase meaning "unwilling to pursue." It is the term used in many common law criminal jurisdictions to describe a prosecutor's application to discontinue criminal charges before trial.
The ability of a senior prosecutor to seek a nolle prosequi is therefore most important because it provides a "roadblock" to vexatious prosecutions and protects civil liberties.
It is he or she can decide whether or not to nolle prosqui; such as where he or she is of the view that the matter is quite minor or lacks enough evidence to satisfy a jury "beyond reasonable doubt".
Legal Definition of Nolle Prosequi (258 words)
In civil cases, a nolle prosequi is considered, not to be of the nature of a retraxit or release, as was formerly supposed, but an agreement only, not to proceed either against some of the defendants, or as to part of the suit.
A nolle prosequi is now held to be no bar to a future action for the same cause, except in those cases where, from the nature of the action, judgment and execution against one, is a satisfaction of all the damages sustained by the plaintiff.
In civil cases, a nolle prosequi may be entered as to one of several counts or to one of several defendants as in the case of a joint contract, where one of two defendants pleads infancy, the plaintiff may enter a nolle prosequi as to him and proceed against the other.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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