What happens if charges are dropped on a felony?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2012

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What happens if charges are dropped on a felony?

My husband got arrested for receiving stolen firearms. He is out on bond. The investigators pushed him into saying he stole them but he didn’t. The people are not pressing charges but he still has to check in every 2 months until his court date. Why does he have to go to court and check in as if he is getting a felony if no charges are being filed?

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Criminal Law, Mississippi


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A law enforcement agency or the prosecutor's office will decide which charges to file, or not to file.  Many times they will take into consideration the wishes of the victims, but they can still decide to file a case over the objection of the victim.  This is what is referred to as the "state picking up the case."  If the state or prosecutor is going to accept the case, they must file it before the statute of limitations runs.  Misdemeanors must usually be filed within two years.  Lower-end felonies are required to be filed in three years.  Higher-end felonies have no statute of limitations.  Until the state decides to dismiss or file the charges or until the statute of limitations has run, your husband will be required to report to a bondsman in order to remain free while these decisions are being made.  If an extensive period of time has passed, your husband may want to hire an attorney to file a writ to discharge the bond because of the delay and the financial expense. 

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