A Stet can be a great result for a client’s criminal, DUI/DWI, juvenile, and traffic case. However, many clients don’t understand what is the Stet docket in Maryland.
First, “Stet” is a Latin term meaning “let it stand.”
Generally, a Stet in Maryland means that your case is placed on an inactive docket and forgotten by the State. However, in some instances a case is placed on the Stet docket so that the defendant can complete certain conditions within a time frame like community service hours, counseling, payment of restitution, etc. Often times, after the defendant successfully completes the conditions, the case is reopened and dismissed by the State. Or, if the conditions are not successfully completed, then the State will reopen the Stet and continue to prosecute the case against the defendant.
Five key facts about the Stet docket in Maryland
1. Stet means the case is inactive
A case placed on the Stet docket becomes inactive in the Maryland court system. The prosecutor sticks the case file in a drawer and forgets about the case, unless there are special conditions attached to the Stet that must be completed within a certain amount of time.
2. A Stet is not a conviction
When a case is placed on the Stet docket it becomes inactive, but it is not an acquittal, conviction, or dismissal. The defendant does not enter a plea of guilty, the court does not enter a conviction, and the State does not dismiss the charges. The charges remain, but are inactive in the court system.
3. A defendant must waive their right to a speedy trial in order to accept a Stet
Every person accused of a crime has the right to a speedy trial under the U.S. Constitution and Maryland law. The Stet is an inactive case with no trial date. A trial could come at a later date, but the defendant must waive their right to speedy trial in order to accept a Stet. If a Stet is reopened and set for trial, then the defendant cannot assert that their speedy trial rights have been violated.
4. A Stet can be reopened
The State and defendant can reopen a Stet for any reason within the first year. Two years after that, a Stet can only be reopened for “good cause.” For example, if a defendant fails to follow the conditions of a Stet, then the State can move to reopen the case and the court will likely grant the State’s motion.
5. A Stet is eligible for expungement
Three years after a case is placed on the Stet docket, the defendant is eligible to have the case expunged.
Contact Carroll County Attorney Ross W. Albers
The Law Office of Ross W. Albers, LLC is located in Westminster, Carroll County, Maryland. Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Baltimore City prosecutor and insurance adjuster. The Law Office of Ross W. Albers, LLC represents clients for litigation involving criminal, divorce, child custody, DUI/DWI, and personal injury matters throughout Maryland. Attorney Ross W. Albers has been recognized as a Maryland Super Lawyers Rising Star in Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI.