Contact Us

Case Evaluation

    Is a Nolle Better than a Dismissal in my Connecticut Domestic Violence Case?

    Is a Nolle Better than a Dismissal in my Connecticut Domestic Violence Case?
    • A nolle is not the same as a dismissal in CT domestic violence arrests.
    • A nolle turns into a dismissal after 13 months.
    • A dismissal triggers the automatic erasure of your arrest.

    • Be sure to consult with a top attorney about whether a dismissal is possible in your case.

    What is a Nolle in Connecticut Court?

    A nolle – short for “nolle prosequi” – means that the prosecutor decided not to pursue the case against you.  Whether to nolle a case is only the prosecutor’s decision, and not the judge’s.  A nolle essentially means that your case is dropped and you’ll no longer have a pending case against you.   However, records of the arrest itself will still be available on background checks for 13 months and – in some cases – the prosecutor has the right to re-open a nolled case within 13 months and re-initiate the prosecution against you.

    What is a Dismissal in Court?

    A dismissal is when the judge, not the prosecutor, orders that your case is dismissed, meaning that it’s completely over and cannot be re-opened under any circumstances.  A dismissal results in the automatic erasure of your arrest records.  In fact, Connecticut criminal laws even give you the right to swear under oath that you were never arrested once your case is dismissed.

    Try to Negotiate a Dismissal Over a Nolle To Keep Your Record Clean

    Your criminal attorney should be talking to the prosecutor ahead of your court date to show them why you shouldn’t be prosecuted, especially in Disorderly Conduct or other domestic violence arrests.  Whether you’ve engaged in counseling or substance abuse treatment, or if the other person involved supports you, experienced attorneys are sometimes able to persuade the prosecutor to drop your case.  However, the prosecutor may want a nolle, and not a dismissal, to have the option to re-open it should there be any further issues.

    Is a Nolle or a Dismissal Better in my Criminal Case?

    The best attorneys know that a dismissal is always better, because then your case is over no matter what and it triggers Connecticut’s erasure statutes.  But, while a dismissal is definitely preferable, it’s not always available.

    Should I Take a Nolle in my Domestic Violence Arrest?

    Your experienced attorney can help you answer this question, because it depends on the specifics of your case.  Sometimes the only option with a domestic violence arrest is to take a nolle or to go through the Family Violence Education Program, or FVEP.  While you might get a dismissal with the Family Violence Education Program, it might cause your case to remain pending for longer.  For more on what to expect if you are arrested for Disorderly Conduct or another domestic violence charge in Connecticut, click here.

    Get in Touch with a Domestic Violence Arrest Defense Attorney Today

    Domestic violence arrests in Connecticut are overwhelming, especially if it’s your very first time in court.  Make sure that you get an attorney who knows how to effectively represent you and can do everything possible to protect your personal and professional reputation.  You can check out hundreds of reviews from past clients at  Then call us.