How long does an officer have to provide me with a citation?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How long does an officer have to provide me with a citation?

On Thursday the 27th of this month, i had a vehicle issue and had to sit in the
road with my hazards on. An officer approached me and claimed he smelled
marijuana and that he would proceed to search me if i did not hand it over. I
handed him over marijuana and a marijuana extract, both below the felony amount.
He however was not familiar enough with his laws to write me a citation on the
spot. He told me he would be sending the drugs off for testing and needed to
discuss what the charge would with his superior officer. I never signed any
citation or ticket, nor did he write one up at all. I was told that if a citation
isn’t provided within 24 hours of the offense then it is dropped. Is there any
truth to this statement? Thank you in advance.

Asked on December 29, 2018 under Criminal Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, that is not true. A citation or summons can be issued any time within the "statute of limitations for that offense." In your state, depending on how much marijuana was involved and whether the amount you had would be considered a "minor misdemeanor" or a [regular] misdemeanor, that means you could be cited for at least 6 months (minor misdemeanor) and possibly for 2 years (misdemeanor).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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