What is a Stet Docket?
The stet docket, literally the “let it stand docket,” simply means that a case has been stetted, or listed as inactive by the court. There is no actual docket on which the cases are listed. In fact, a stetted case is not listed on any docket. “stet docket” is simply a colloquialism referring to the fact that the case is inactive. The charges are not dropped, nor is the defendant determined to be innocent or guilty. Instead, the case is simply put on hold indefinitely.
Uses and Benefits of Stet Dockets
There are numerous reasons to stet a case. Sometimes, a case may be stetted in order to allow the defendant time to complete community service, counseling, required classes, or other requirements applicable to the charges. After these requirements are met, the case may be reopened and the charges dismissed, though the entering of a stet also allows prosecutors to pursue the case if the required actions are not completed by the defendant.
When a charge is stetted, it is no longer active. This means that no trial is set for the charge and that any warrants associated with the charge are revoked, unless the judge specifies otherwise. No trial will take place unless requested by either party within one year. After that time, the case can only go to trial at the order of the court if either party shows good reason for bringing the case.
Additionally, you can have the case expunged after it has spent three years on the Stet docket. This makes accepting a stet a great option for certain cases in which expungement is preferable to a speedy trial and resolution. The case cannot be reopened after the three-year time limit expires.
Although you and your attorney cannot request that the judge mark your case as stet, you may be able to work with the prosecutor to obtain this result. The judge can only enter a stet on your case if the prosecutor formally requests it, and the judge must approve. After that request, you have the chance to object to stetting, which you may find necessary if the conditions of the stet are not agreeable. However, if you are not present in court when the stet is requested, you will simply be sent notice that your case was stetted.
If you wish to accept stetting of your charges, you are required to waive your right to a speedy trial. This is because the placement of your case on the Stet docket leaves open the possibility that it may be tried at a later date, without meeting the requirements of a speedy trial. This is particularly likely to come into play if you are arrested on a new charge during the three years that your case is in stet.
Talk with Your Attorney
If you are facing charges in Maryland and wish to put them on stet, contact the La Plata & Waldorf criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. to see if your case qualifies. Stet is not available in all counties for all charges, so choose an experienced attorney familiar with your area and charges.