Can you get charged without being arrested? 10 Answers as of February 12, 2014

Someone I know was locked up on a warrant for child support, when he was getting processed pills fell out of his sock. They said they didn't feel like dealing with it and they was going to throw them in the trash. He spent 4 days in jail for the child support and was never charged at all for the pills, never got charge papers, never got a bail for the pills nothing. Now it's been 2 months and he gets a summons to go to court for the pills. Is that legal? Can they charge U later? They had him in the precinct for child support, shouldn't they have charged him then? How can they charge him, if he was never actually arrested for it? If you can help me understand this,

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
It is perfectly legal. At the time he was arrested for child support, they did not know what the pills were. They tested the pills, found out they were illegal and then the prosecutor's office prepared a charging instrument, which he now has to address in court. Of course, the entire incident was captured in camera. SO, it will be a difficult case to defend.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/12/2014
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
You do not have to be arrested to be charged. The police gives information to the prosecutor and they decide if there is enough information to charge one.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/31/2014
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
There is no requirement that someone be arrested to be charged. Otherwise no fugitive would ever be charged.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2014
Ascheman & Smith | Landon Ascheman
They don't have to charge immediately. They have up to 3 years in Minnesota to charge the individual.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 1/31/2014
Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
In Arizona they can charge you with a felony up to seven years after the offense or on a misdemeanor up to a year after. While it would have made sense if they had charged him right then, they did not need to. To answer your other question, there are two ways to arrest someone- they can actually book you in to jail or they can write you a ticket (or mail you one in the form of a summons). So everything you have mentioned is all legal. Maybe not the most efficient use of the justice system, but legal.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 1/31/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    What you describe is not unusual.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Yes, charges can be filed anytime as long as the statute of limitations hasn't tolled. You can be charged without being arrested. It often occurs in cases that depend on test or lab results such as drugs.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes. It happens a lot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    That is perfectly legal. As long as charges are filed within the statute of limitations (which is at least a year for any charge in California, longer for felonies), then it's legal. My suggestion would be to contact a local criminal defense attorney for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Cavaleri & DeMarco | Alexander DeMarco
    Representations at the the seen, if corroborated, can stop criminal charges, though, I can tell you, if the pills are in the trash, there is no case. Controlled substance possession can be harder than people think for the state to prove. Call a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/31/2014
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