Today we’re here to talk to you about why your case isn’t get charged if it’s been some time.
On television, when someone gets arrested, people immediately think that the charges are going to start happening right off the bat. But in the real world, the way that it works is after a police officer arrests somebody, they have to submit it to a prosecutor. Whether it be a city prosecutor, a county prosecutor, a federal prosecutor, and then that prosecutor gets to decide whether or not the person’s going to be charged and when, and for what.
Under ARS section 13-107 is where you can look for applicable time limits for how long a prosecutor has to charge you with a particular crime. For misdemeanors it’s one year. For most felonies, class six through class two, it’s going to be seven years, and then there’s some exceptions to that rule, homicide being one, conspiracy to commit homicide, basically anytime if someone is dead, if there’s a dead body, they’re going to have as much time as they need to get everything that they need to to charge a case. Also serious sexual crimes, there’s some government bribery charges type ones, and ones with falsifying public records. It’s probably not going to apply to most of you, but if there is, in that situation you’re wondering why you haven’t been charged yet, that’s why. They can take as long as they need to to get it done.
A good barometer for it is going to be seven years for when they have to charge with a felony case. The way that it really could affect you is let’s say something happened, it’s been three, four, five years at this point, technically the government has up to seven years to charge you with it on a felony case. What we have to decide and figure out, and if we can help you is if you’ve been actually prejudiced. Actually prejudiced meaning that maybe witnesses aren’t around anymore, maybe some evidence has been destroyed, and we’d have to prove to the court is that there’s actual prejudice, and then we could potentially get your charges dismissed for the government taking so long to charge you with that case.
We certainly could help you out with this at any point. If you do think that you’re in a situation like that, then go ahead and give us a call, we will meet you for a free consultation to discuss your case. If you’re running into this issue, give us a call.