State v. SimmsAnnotate this Case
Because the State’s authority to nol pros applies only to charges, the State may not use its nol pros authority to alter a final judgment such as a conviction and sentence.
At issue before the Supreme Court was whether the State had the authority to enter a nol pros of a charge that resulted in a conviction and sentence. Defendant was convicted and sentenced for conspiracy to violate the controlled dangerous substance laws. Defendant appealed. Before the court of special appeals heard oral arguments, the State nol prossed the charge underlying Defendant’s conviction and sentence. The court of appeals ruled that the State lacked the authority to nol pros a charge underlying a conviction and sentence and ultimately reversed the judgment based on insufficient evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) after a defendant has received a final judgment in the form of a conviction and sentence, the State may not enter a nolle prosequi to alter the final judgment; and (2) the State lacked the authority in this case to nol pros in order to alter the final judgment or to eliminate the appellate process initiated by Defendant.