How much time does someone have to press charges for a criminal theft of a stolen/forged check via an unauthorized home entry?

9 months ago an addicted family member entered my home without consent (house was probably unlocked). She took a check from my checkbook, wrote it out to herself for $60 and then endorsed and cashed it. There was not an account owner signature of any kind on the bottom of the check but the bank cashed it anyway without I.D. it seemed. No charges were made then and the bank has since reimbursed me but another unproven but almost certain (w/witnesses) theft of cash occurred again. The police said it may be tough to now press charges because of elapsed time, a family suspect, and unlocked home.

Asked on September 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sounds like the police aren't doing it--so you'll have to.  You need to file an "Application for Complaint" in the District Court covereing the area of your home where the theft occurred.  

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The time to file charges against someone by the district attorney's office is based upon criminal statutes setting forth the various statutes of limitations based upon each state's laws on the various crimes that are enumerated by each state's criminal code.

The time to press charges by the victim of an alleged criminal offense as to the person supposedly the cause of it has no time frame. If you want to press charges against a certain individual for alleged theft, you can do so at any time. The issue is whether the report concerning the claimed offense written up by law enforcement will be enough to generate the filing of a criminal complaint by the district attorney's office.

Good luck.


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