Dead Docket

If your case has been moved to the dead docket, it is important to know what the dead docket is, what impact it has on your case, and the benefits of your case being dead docketed. Keep reading to learn more about the dead docket and why you need a criminal defense attorney if your case has been dead docketed.

What does dead docket mean?

To understand what a“dead docket” is, it is important to understand what a “docket” means. A docket is a log containing a complete history of every case based on court proceedings that have occurred in the case or will occur in the future. Every case is assigned a unique docket number that can be used to easily find a case. When a case is closed, the case is removed from the docket.

Sometimes a case is not closed but still needs to be removed from the docket. In these instances, the case is “dead docketed.” When a case is dead docketed, this means that prosecuting the case has been postponed for various reasons including, but not limited to, lack of evidence, inability to find witnesses, or a victim’s refusal to prosecute. The prosecutor or the defense attorney may request that the Court dead docket a case.

Is my case over if it is dead docketed?

If a case is dead docketed that does not mean the case is dismissed or dropped in favor of the Defendant. Instead, the case being dead docketed means the case is pending, and a trial can be called at any point by the Court, or the Defendant can demand a trial.

What about the statute of limitations?

The dead docket applies to cases that have already been indicted, while the statute of limitations refers to the time the prosecutor has to initiate a case. As a result, the statute of limitations does not apply to dead docketed cases because dead docketed cases have already been initiated.

Why do I need a lawyer if my case is dead docketed?

If your case remains dead docketed for at least twelve months, your attorney can request that your record be restricted under Georgia law so that people cannot see the case when they conduct background checks. This means that once your record is restricted, the only people that can see the case are law enforcement agencies for criminal legal purposes.

You also need a criminal defense attorney if your case has been dead docketed and you want to ask for a trial. Your attorney can file a motion with the Court demanding a trial which will move your case from the dead docket.

Your attorney can also discuss with you the benefits and disadvantages of demanding a trial. One potential advantage your attorney may discuss with you is that if your case has been dead docketed it is likely because the prosecutor does not wish to prosecute the case at this time. As a result, your attorney may move to have the case dismissed depending on the circumstances of your case.

Have questions? Give me a call.

I have decades of experience representing clients facing criminal charges, including clients whose cases have been dead docketed. I will advise you about the details of your case and advocate for you at all stages to ensure you receive the best outcome. If you need a criminal defense attorney or have legal questions, give me a call today!

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