Can criminal charges be filed at a later date? 77 Answers as of June 02, 2013

If I was involved in a fight in someone's home. The police were called. No one pressed charges. The cops actually took me home. Can charges be pressed at a later date?

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Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
Yes. The District Attorney's Office has one year to file misdemeanor criminal charges and two years to file most felony charges.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2011
Law Office of Hieu Vu
Law Office of Hieu Vu | Hieu N Vu
Yes they can. Charges do not have to be charged right away. The DA has plenty of time to charge. It is not unusual for a crime to be charged 10-11 months after the incident. This happens because courts are clogged and the state is clogged.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
Every crime has a statute of limitations time period for which the prosetion can file charges. Most crimes have a time period of at least one year. Murder has no statute of limitations.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/8/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Criminal charges can be filed up to the statute of limitations which is 5 years.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 11/7/2011
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/2/2013
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Yes. If the police continued to investigate the incident and later developed sufficient evidence to charge, the state could charge you. Under the circumstances you describe, it is unlikely that the police would continue the investigation or seek charging.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Yes. Charges can be brought any time before the statute of limitations runs.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Nixon Ayemi | Nixon Ayeni
    Depends if the individual decide to change their mind and press charges and it also depend on how long ago the infraction took place.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    Yes. Generally speaking, misdemeanor charges may be brought within two years, and felony charges within four years, but there are exceptions.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Criminal charges are brought by the prosecuting attorney not an individual. In your case, if a police report was forwarded to the prosecutor, he/she would review the report and determine if any criminal charges should be brought. So yes, charges could be brought at a "later" date.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Yes, within the statute of limitations, the Prosecutor can decide to request a warrant. It will depend on many factors, however, it is up to the prosecutor to do this. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes, the statute of limitations in Washington is six years for most crimes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    They can but it is unlikely if the cops already assessed the situation. They likely decided it was "mutual combat".
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    The police have up to 18 months to file charges, if the battery was simple. If aggravated battery, they have 3 years to file charges. The good news is that you were not arrested at that time, and it is unlikely that charges will be sought if a significant amount of time has transpired since the incident.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. Up to 1 year for a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Yes, 2 year statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The general scenario is cops get called and if no one is arrested at their arrival, a report is sent to the DA who decides if charges will be filed. If a misdemeanor he has 1 year. If a felony, more than a year and may depend on the charge filed but at least 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It is possible for charges to be filed at a later date than the arrest, but there are time limits for filing charges. For example, the general rule is the prosecutor has 1 year to file charges from date of incident on a misdemeanor charge. There are some exceptions to this. Some people decide to hire an attorney on a "pre-filing" basis in order to have the attorney contact the prosecutor in order to try to persuade them not to file charges at all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Keyser Law Firm
    Keyser Law Firm | Christopher W. Keyser
    Yes, charges can be filed at a later date. Oftentimes law enforcement's primary concern in assault cases is to deescalate or neutralize a threatening situation. The police will then take statements from the alleged victim, witnesses and sometimes the defendant. If law enforcement deems there is enough evidence (or possibly enough evidence) it will forward its case file to the city or county attorney's office for review and consideration of charging. Depending on what level offense the prosecutor decides to charge the case as (misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony) the defendant will either be arrested by warrant or simply mailed a summons to appear in court on a specific date.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    There is no time limit for class A felonies. For all other felonies the time limit is five years. For misdemeanors the time limit is two years and the time limit is one year for violations. There are no time limits on warrants.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
    Charges for a crime can be brought against you much later than when the offense was committed. Often times, the police and the prosecution want to first investigate the case and see if there is any basis for you to be charged with a crime before doing so. The fact that they didn't do so immediately after the fight doesn't preclude them from doing so at a later date once they have determined that you may have broken a law.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Anderson Walsh PLLC
    Anderson Walsh PLLC | STACI LYNN ANDERSON
    Yes. The state can file misdemeanor charges up to one year after the incident or file felony charges up to five years later.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes, charges can be filed later in some cases charges get filed several months later. Talk to an attorney in the area and he could try to find out if they are going to file charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    bark & karpf
    bark & karpf | peter bark
    Charges do have to be filed immediately after an incident, but as months go by, the probability of charges being filed diminishes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    Yes they can. In a misdemeanor up to 2 years.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC | Thaddeus Furlong, Esq.
    Yes, up until the statute of limitations expires for that offense. Felonies never expire and misdemeanors usually end 12 months from the date of offense.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Only the elected prosecutor or his or her sworn deputies can "press" charges. As long as the charges are filed within the Statute of Limitations (SOL) has not expired, the prosecutor may file charges if he or she has probable cause to do so. The SOL for misdemeanors is one year. The SOL for most felonies is three years. The exceptions are homicide and child molestation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    They have a year to file a misdeanor and 3 years to file a felony.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is 18 months, 3 years for a felony. Yes, charges can be filed by the government any time within those periods.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Yes, it is possible for criminal charges to filed later, and depending on whether they are misdemeanor, petty offenses or felonies, there can be charges filed after a number of years in some cases.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Charges can be filed at any time as long as the statute of limitations have not expired. Probably for the charges you would be speaking of, it would be six years.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I would advise you to retain a lawyer to assist you with this matter. If you cannot afford to retain a lawyer, the court may ultimately appoint you one at the public's expense assuming you meet their eligibility requirements if you are ever formally charged. Yes, if they take the time and investigate the matter. It may take a few weeks before the file is sent to a prosecutor or city attorney's office for review. In some situations, investigations may take months or even years. Ultimately it may be a prosecutor or city attorney that files the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Offices of Correen Ferrentino
    The Law Offices of Correen Ferrentino | Correen Ferrentino
    Yes, if it is misdemeanor conduct the prosecutor can file within one year of the incident. If the conduct is felony conduct the prosecutor most likely has four years to file the offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Lawsmith, The Law Office of J. Scott Smith
    Lawsmith, The Law Office of J. Scott Smith | J. Scott Smith
    The answer to your question is yes. For any misdemeanor in the state of North Carolina, such as a simple assault or affray, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the event. For felonies in North Carolina, there is no statute of limitations and one may be charged at any time.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law | Michael Edwards
    If the offense in question is a misdemeanor offense, the prosecutor has two years from the date of the alleged offense to file misdemeanor criminal charges against you. This happens all of the time, as in some cases the police do not arrest or cite anyone at the time of the alleged offense, but rather submit their reports and any witness statements to the prosecuting attorney, so he or she can decided who will be criminally charged, and what they will be charged with. It sounds like this is what happened to you. You should hire a good criminal defense attorney, and see what he or she can do to help you minimize your damage from this incident.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Bruce Yerman, Attorney At Law
    Bruce Yerman, Attorney At Law | Bruce Yerman
    Yes. Charges can be filed on a later date. This is not the way it usually happens but is possible. In New York, the statute of limitations on most felony charges is five years after the "date of commission". Criminal Procedure Law Section 30.10(2)(b). The statute of limitations on a misdemeanor is two years.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police can get the complainant to sign a supporting deposition and then have a judge sing an arrest warrant if the person you assaulted wanted to press charges. The police will probably call you to interview you. You should retain an attorney to see if there is a warrant and if so he will surrender you to the police and represent you in court. If it is over three weeks they are probably not pressing charges but you should not talk to the police under any circumstances. Ask that the questioning stop and request to talk to an attorney no matter what they threaten or promise. Fish only get caught when they open their mouth.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    Yes, charges can be filed as long as someone can decide that there has been a violation of the law.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    The charges for any crime can be charged later then the day of the crime as long as it is within the Statute of Limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Yes, but it seems doubtful . You should have an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Kenrick Young
    Law Offices of Kenrick Young | Nicholas Lazzarini
    The time period for bringing criminal charges on assault depend on the severity of the injuries caused. If no one was seriously injured or hospitalized, then most likely the statute of limitations will expire one-year from the date of the incident. Though the police did not arrest you initially, it is still possible they may question or arrest you at some time prior to the expiration of that one-year period. If contacted by the police, you should request an attorney and refuse to answer any questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    A misdemeanor can be filed up to a year after the incident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Peter Duarte, Attorney at Law
    Peter Duarte, Attorney at Law | Peter Duarte
    Yes, a misdemeanor may be filed within one year of incident and within 3 years of a felony, there are certain exceptions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    Yes. The police can make an arrest and prosecute any time up until the end of the statute of limitations has run. The time frame for that varies depending on the seriousness of the crime. While it is more unlikely that they would make an arrest after the fact, I can speak from personal experience that I have seen it happen to clients of mine in assault cases. Make sure you have an attorney in place should the police continue to prosecute this case and remember to exercise your constitutional right not to speak to the police. They will not let you talk your way out of this.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Summers and Schneider
    Summers and Schneider | Kimberly A. Summers
    Yes, charges can be filed at a later time although typically the police, if called to the scene, will make the arrests at the time of the incident.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    Yes, they can file the charges later.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Aaron T. Hicks
    Law Offices of Aaron T. Hicks | Aaron Hicks
    Yes, in California prosecutors have up to 1 year from the date of the incident to file misdemeanor charges and 3 years from the date of the incident for most felonies.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    It's not up to any one person to "press" or "drop" charges. That decision belongs to the prosecutor in the jurisdiction where this took place. If a report was taken, it could be submitted to the DA's office for review and potential filing of charges at some point in the future. Whether or not charges are filed depends on what's in the reports and whether they think a crime was committed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Unfortunately they can. The police often decline to arrest and simply forward the police report to the District Attorneys office for review. It is within the discretion of the District Attorney to file charges upon review of that report.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    Yes. The charges may be pressed anytime until the statute of limitations passes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Paula Drake
    Law Offices of Paula Drake | Paula Drake
    They could still be investigating. In short, the answer is yes. There are parameters, however; they length of time of the statute of limitations is different for different crimes. On a misdemeanor in Ca. it is one year. You should contact an attorney if anyone tries to talk to you about the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes. A police report may be sent to the prosecutor's office. The prosecutor is the one who decides whether charges will be filed (not the witnesses/victims).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Yes. In general, the statute of limitations for filing criminal charges is as follows: misdemeanor, up to one year from the date of the incident; felonies, up to three years from the date of the incident. Of course there are exceptions. In any case, if you feel as though you are being investigated or at risk of being charged, then I would contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your situation in detail. The great majority of criminal defense lawyers offer free case evaluations so you really have nothing to lose by doing so. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Yes. The statute of limitations must expire before you are "home free."
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/3/2011
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