how long can the police wait to charge you in iowa?

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how long can the police wait to charge you in iowa?

My son was pulled over when he had a passenger in his car that the cops said they were following the passenger stashed his marijuana in between the seats. the cops searched the car and found them. the passenger who they were following said it was his but they read my son his rights saying that that they had a whole bunch of charges against him. Showed him a list but didnt arrest him.. they kept his drivers license and the told him he had to help them find other drug dealers for them . Can they legally do this even when the passenger said the drugs were his?

Asked on October 8, 2018 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

They can wait up to months or even years to charge him: the statute of limitations, or time within which they must bring charges, is, for example, is three years for serious misdemeanors or felonies, which would include many drug possession charges. 
The police are not obligated to believe what the passenger said: they could believe, for example, that the passenger is covering for your son. It may be that the authorities would fail to prove that in court (e.g. fail to prove your son's possession of the drugs by "beyond a reasonable doubt") and so fail to convict, but at this stage, they could still charge if they wanted to and see if they could develop the evidence necessary to convict.


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