Can I be arrested for a crime over 2 yrs old without being served a warrant and/or questioned? 7 Answers as of May 19, 2011

My family member was arrested for having a marijuana pipe in their possession. Upon their arraignment, the prosecutor also brought up charges for another crime, which was 1 1/2 yrs ago. My family member had no knowledge of the said crime, nor did they commit the crime. They were never even questioned or detained in regards to the crime mentioned by the prosecutor. I find it odd that a warrant had not been issued, nor had they even been questioned. Only that charges had been filed against them. Why wouldn't they have followed up on these charges a 1 1/2 ago, or even question them? We have not moved, nor changed our address. The crime in question is burglary from an employer. The employer has video showing 2 masked intervals breaking and entering into the building and removing property. What makes this charge outrageous is that my family member has been on state disability for a year, due to back injury. The employer has been given doctor’s letters and work release with limitations. When the crime occurred, my family member was here at home, and has several witnesses, and doctors’ reports or show they could not even commit the crime. Further more, one of the individuals, the employer suspected for the crime, was "found" with property in their possession, and as a result "fired". Now the company did not charge this individual for the burglary crime, which they suspect is one of the individuals. What should we do? What are my family members rights? And can they even be charged without due cause? Thank You

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Yes. Anyone can be arrested and charged if within the Statute of Limitations time, which varies for each charge. Of course you can fight it. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. You face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/19/2011
LynchLaw
LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
Yes, what you describe would be a felony. The DA has at least three years in which to prosecute an individual for such a crime. Everything else you have described supports the idea that it will be very difficult for the DA to convict. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/19/2011
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Have you family member get a good attorney and fight it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/19/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
That's a terrible story but a great defense. I'm not sure there is anything you can do at this point other than get a good attorney and make all those facts known to the DA. Based on everything you've said, it's hard to imagine that there hasn't been some mistake. You need to see the discovery (police reports and other evidence) to find out what the state is basing its case on. If the case goes forward, you obviously have a very strong defense that can result in a favorable settlement or perhaps even dismissal of the charge. We would be happy to talk to you about it. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
He can be charged with a crime even if it is two years old as long as it could be charged as a felony. It does sound like he is being charged with a felony so there will be a preliminary hearing. This will be the time where the DA will present evidence in front of a judge. He will definitely need an attorney to assist him in these charges.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    He can be charged without talking with the police. They do have to have probable cause to charge him. He does have rights and needs an attorney to help him protect these rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Your family member 1) needs an attorney, 2) should say nothing to any one but the attorney whom 3) he or she should consult with alone. One can be charged with a crime without a warrant ever being issued or anyone asking them a question.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/18/2011
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