What Does a Disposed Case Status Mean?

by Ambrosio Rodriguez | Mar 22, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When a case is listed as disposed, it means that the court proceedings have ended, and no further court dates are scheduled. No matter what happened in the case, once it is listed in this way, it will be removed from the court docket, and no additional hearings will be set. Disposing a case can refer to any type of case, from a summary offense to serious felony offenses.

Understanding Different Case Dispositions

If you are involved in the criminal justice system, it is important to understand how cases are disposed. Cases can be disposed in a variety of ways, including the following:


There are several reasons why your case might be dismissed without going to trial. One possibility is that there isn’t enough evidence to support the charges brought against you, so the prosecutor dismisses the charges. It’s also possible that a witness failed to appear, and without that witness, the prosecutor can’t make out their case.

Not Guilty

When a person is found not guilty by the jury or judge, this is the end of the case. This is one of the most favorable outcomes for those involved in criminal proceedings besides having charges dismissed before even going to trial.


A guilty verdict occurs when the jury or judge reviewing your case finds sufficient evidence to support a conviction. This means that they believe beyond a reasonable doubt that you are responsible for committing the crime charged.

The consequences of being convicted of a crime can vary depending on its severity and any mitigating factors. These could range from hefty fines to jail time or other punitive measures.Once you are found guilty and sentenced, the case will be closed.

Plea Deal

By entering into a plea deal, defendants can often avoid harsher consequences. A plea deal is when a defendant pleads guilty in exchange for leniency from the prosecutor, such as reduced jail time or lighter charges – for example, felony charges are reduced to misdemeanors in exchange for the guilty plea.

Defendants enter into these agreements because if they go to trial, they could face significantly harsher penalties if they’re found guilty; they’d rather not leave it up to chance.

After completion of the guilty plea and sentencing, the case is disposed.

Completion of Pre-Trial Dispositions

A pre-trial disposition, such as drug court, is an increasingly popular option for many criminal defendants. When you enter a pre-trial disposition, there is the potential to avoid a trial or conviction.

Drug courts and other pre-trial programs offer an alternative pathway for those charged with minor drug offenses or substance abuse issues.

Instead of traditional legal proceedings, individuals are presented with the option to participate in rehabilitative programs that offer specialized treatment in order to tackle their issues more productively.

Once the defendant completes all of the requirements, the case is usually dismissed, and the case will be disposed.

What Happens After Disposition?

Understanding your legal options after your case is closed is important in protecting yourself. The following are two actions you may be able to take that can be very beneficial to you:


Expungement is a process by which a person convicted of a crime can have their record essentially deleted so no one can see it. It typically requires legal help to complete and can take some time, but with an expungement, the defendant does not have to disclose their conviction to the public or potential employers/landlords.

When an individual’s record is expunged, they can carry on with their life without having to worry about facing stigma related to their past convictions.

However, sometimes the record will still show up on certain FBI criminal background checks.

Sealing Records

Sometimes an individual’s records cannot be expunged but may still be sealed. Sealing means that information related to conviction is inaccessible to the public but may still appear on background checks conducted by certain law enforcement agencies or for jobs.

Seek Legal Guidance From an Experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

If you need more information about either of these processes and how they might apply specifically to you, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help. A lawyer can help you understand and explore your legal rights and options from start to finish.

Contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm of The Rodriguez Law Group Today For Help

For more information please contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense law firm of The Rodriguez Law Group for a free consultation, give us a call at (213) 995-6767 or visit our convenient location:

The Rodriguez Law Group – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
626 Wilshire Blvd Suite 460, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States