If someone was caught trying to steel something from a store and the business did not press charges and that person was let go, can the county press charges 3 months later?

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If someone was caught trying to steel something from a store and the business did not press charges and that person was let go, can the county press charges 3 months later?

I wrote a brief question above.

Asked on June 26, 2017 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not to press charges in a criminal case is up to the state, not the victim (here, the business). If there is evidence enough to go forward with the case, the state will prosecute. Additionally, there is a time limit in which charges must be brought (known as the "statute of limitations") but it runs years, not months.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the county (or city, as the case may be) can press charges 3 months later. When a crime is committed, the victim, such as a store shoplifted from, is a witness to the crime, but is not in charge of the case; the government is, and can decide to press charges regardless of what the victim does or wants. And 3 months is still within the statute of limitations, or time to bring charges.


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