How long does the state have to press formal charges?

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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.

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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