To most defendants and laypeople alike, the language of the law can be hard to understand. There are so many terms with which you, as a non-legal professional, are unfamiliar. You usually don’t have any reason to know their meanings, naturally. If you’re worried about how a previous criminal charge or conviction on your record, however, that all changes.
What does “expungement” mean?
This is essentially a court order that seals or erases your criminal record. As you might expect, expungements can help significantly after you have been arrested and convicted of criminal offenses. Without a black mark on your record, you will have a better chance of finding employment and acquiring a secure home.
What does “nolle prosecui” mean?
This means “unwilling to pursue” and is often called nolle or nolled (past tense) in many instances. Its meaning to criminal defendants is that the prosecutor has decided not to pursue a conviction, or the charges are “dropped.” In Connecticut, a nolle prosecui offers advantages similar to those of expungement. It can clear your record and bring otherwise unattainable benefits to your life.
Prosecutors may elect not to pursue charges after they’ve been filed for a variety of reasons. For example, if the prosecutor lacks enough evidence to persuade a jury that you are guilty of the charges or a witness recants, such an action may occur.
Although these two terms have different meanings and applications, either one can be advantageous. Expungement is likely the best choice to clear your record and become a productive member of your community — but a nolled charge may not necessarily haunt your footsteps forever.
Depending upon your current needs, it is smart to ask your defense attorney about these and other ways to acquire post-conviction relief or avoid a conviction altogether. If you’re concerned about your ability to move forward in life after an acquittal or when charges have been dropped, find out more about your legal options.