The Automatic Dismissal of Criminal Cases in Palm Beach County Florida

          In 2008, the Chief Judge in Palm Beach County Florida signed Administrative Order 4.605-9/08 which automatically dismisses the following types of cases:


          1.  All nontraffic-related misdemeanor cases (for example, battery cases or trespassing cases) that have had no court activity for the past 5 years.


          2.  All violation of probation cases related to #1 that have had no court activity for the past 5 years.


          3.  All driving under the influence cases (DUI cases) that have had no court activity for the past 8 years.


          4.  Cases in which the Palm Beach County Clerk of Court receives documents proving that an accused individual is dead (for example, a death certificate).


          However, this order goes on to state that if the Clerk of Court fails to dismiss one of the above-mentioned types of cases, a defendant is not entitled to have his case dismissed simply by filing a motion with the court.  In fact, if a defendant were to do so, the court could actually reactivate his case and set it for trial.


          So what should you do if you believe that your case ought to be dismissed because it has been inactive for several years?  For one thing, do not file anything in writing with the judge or clerk.  That may well result in your case being reactivated.  Instead, contact a criminal defense lawyer for advice about how to proceed and hopefully get your case dismissed.

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