HB 3270: Dismissal Costs Now Require Judicial Approval.
Case dismiss cost to defendant, not without judicial discretion. I’m Oklahoma Attorney James Wirth, and we’re talking about a new law in the state of Oklahoma that went into effect last year from House Bill 3270. It makes a minor change in a statute regarding the dismissal of charges and the cost of those.
So there are a couple of types of dismissals in a criminal case. It’s basically, is it dismiss cost to the state or the prosecuting agency, or is it cost to the defendant? So if a case is dismissed cost to the state, most of the time, that’s an indication that it’s dismissed without prejudice, which means that the state could refile later if it’s still within the statute of limitations.
But if it’s a dismissed cost to the defendant, well, that means that the defendant has to pay the court costs, but it also means that it triggers double jeopardy, meaning it’s a dismissal without prejudice and they cannot refile those criminal charges. So when I negotiate or when I’ve worked a case and gotten an agreement from the state to dismiss, that’s one of the things that has to be determined.
Changes in Dismissal Cost Determination
Is it dismissal cost to the state or cost to the defendant? And previously, that had been within the discretion of the defendant and the prosecutor. And whatever they agree upon, you announce that to the court and that is a done deal, as long as, by the statute, it didn’t really give the judge discretion to say yes or no on that.
However, that statute has been amended, like I said, by HB 3270, and it just added this tiny little part to it that says, unless the court exercises its discretion and the parties agree. So the parties had to agree before, but it didn’t have that little part that says unless the court exercises its discretion.
So now, if it’s going to be dismissed cost to the defendant, then the judge has to approve that. And you have to indicate, may have to give some reasons to the judge why it should be dismissed cost to the defendant, why should the defendant have to pay. The benefit to the defendant, of course, though, that means it’s with prejudice, they cannot refile it later. If it is dismissed cost to the state, the law doesn’t apply there and requires judicial discretion. The state can do that.
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All dismissals normally are approved by the judge, but as far as cost to the defendant, this statute now provides that the judge specifically does have to approve that and the judge does have discretion. Alright, so that’s a minor change in the law regarding the dismissal of criminal counts. If you’re dealing with a criminal case, you’re probably going to want to talk to an attorney privately and confidentially to get legal advice specific to your circumstances.
To get that scheduled with a criminal defense lawyer in Tulsa at my office, you go online to MakeLawEasy.com.