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What is a Civil Compromise? And Can it Lead to my Case being Dismissed?

A civil compromise is a potential avenue to a misdemeanor case being dismissed. Penal Code § 1377 states that “When the person injured by an act constituting a misdemeanor has a remedy by a civil action, the offense may be compromised…” What this means if that if the misdemeanor offense causes some financial harm and the alleged victim signs a witnessed statement which acknowledges they have been compensated for their injury, the court may, in its discretion, “stay” the prosecution, the defendant be discharged from prosecution, and no further charges may be brought against defendant for the same offense. This, in effect, amounts to a dismissal of the criminal charges in a misdemeanor case. A civil compromise does not apply to felony cases and also contains certain exceptions, such as an offense committed against a police officer in the commission of their duties, an offense committed in violation of a court order, or upon a family member, child, or elderly person. However, if a misdemeanor case does not fall within one of those exceptions, a civil compromise is a route to dismissal worth exploring.