Motion for Nolle Prosequi Law and Legal Definition

A motion for nolle prosequi is a motion by a prosecutor or other plaintiff to drop legal charges, usually in exchange for a diversion program or out-of-court settlement. A prosecutor in a criminal case or a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit can file a motion for nolle prosequi either before or during trial. Such a motion is usually filed when the charges cannot be proved, the evidence has demonstrated either innocence or a fatal flaw in the prosecution's claim, or the prosecutor no longer thinks the accused is guilty. It is generally made after indictment, but is not a guarantee that the person won't be reindicted. In civil cases, a nolle prosequi may be entered as to one of several counts or to one of several defendants. In a criminal case, it has been held improper for a court to enter an order of nolle prosequi on it's own without a motion by the prosecutor.