Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Time limit for police to file charges

My fiance was attacked by our neighbor

with a concealed knife. My fiance called

the police and they arrested them both

stating they are taking them both in as

suspects and victims: assualt with a

deadly weapon. I bailed my fiance out

and we went to the courthouse the

bondsman told us to--the court clerk

had not heard of the case. They called

the DA- who had not heard of the case.

The clerk told us that the police are

most likely figuring out whether or not

they want to charge him with anything.

How long after the incident do the

police have to press charges?

Asked on 7/31/06, 4:31 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: Time limit for police to file charges

Police officers don't make this decision; prosecutors do. How much time they have depends upon precisely what charges they are considering (the fact that the police said assault with a deadly weapon does not control what the prosecutor will charge, if anything). Each crime has a statutory limitation period and charges must be filed before that period runs out.

I don't know offhand how long this period is for ADW charges, but it is surely at least a year and probably more.

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Answered on 8/02/06, 7:50 pm

Rabin Nabizadeh Crime Attorneys Inc.

Re: Time limit for police to file charges

The statute of limitations for most felonies is three years and one year for misdemeanors. However, other statute may toll the time. Have you tried to contact the police department?

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Answered on 8/07/06, 3:57 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: Time limit for police to file charges

Years, depending upon the statute of limitations on the particular charges. Reasonably, if several months pass, it will be apparant they don't intend to pursue.

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Answered on 7/31/06, 6:20 pm

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