How long does the state have to press formal charges?

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How long does the state have to press formal charges?

My husband was arrested for child abuse because he spanked our son with a hanger and left a bruise. DCF was going to leave him in the home but the police decided to arrest him. He has not been formally charged yet. How long do we have to wait? We have received nothing in the mail about any court appearance or the public defender has not said anything either.

Asked on June 4, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that an individual can be prosecuted for a crime as long as they are charged within the applicable statute of limitations (this is the time period in which charges can legally be brought; typically several years depending on the offense). Since this apparently happened fairly recently, the prosecutor's office will need time to investigate before making its decision as to whether or not to proceed with formal charges.


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