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What is DWOP?

DWOP is short term used for Dismissal Without Prejudice.  The term is used in both Kentucky and Ohio courts.  It is generally slang but becomes shorthand for many prosecutors and some judges.  If a case is dismissed without prejudice, the State/Commonwealth has the ability to refile the case at a later date.  This is often done in cases where an essential witness or victim does not appear or is unable to appear at the trial date. Very seldom do defendants object to a DWOP, since the case is technically being dismissed.  There are certain times when objection should be made so that the Court can determine if to dismiss without or with prejudice.  If a case is dismissed WITH prejudice, then the matter cannot be recharged or re-indicted without the defense of double jeopardy.  This is done when the defendant and counsel are set for trial.  The defendant can announce "ready for trial" and if the prosecution cannot proceed, the Defense Attorney should ask for dismissal with prejudice. Whether the case is refiled or re-indicted depends on a number of factors, including the reasons that the witness may be absent as well as the severity of the alleged crime.  Generally, the decision rests with the local prosecutor. Whether to dismiss with or without prejudice is a decision for the judge and is discretionary.  If you have a case pending, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For consultation in Kentucky or Cincinnati, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at [email protected] 

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