Can I still be charged after the fact?

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Can I still be charged after the fact?

I was walking home from assisting a paraplegic friend of mine which is something well
known in the small town I live in. It was night and cold so had hands in hoodie with
hood up. Police car came from behind and drove past to the end of block then turned
around hopped out ran up and grabbed me threatening to ‘dump me to the ground’. He
searched and found drugs in cigareette pack but never called it over the radio and never
arrested me and let me go after iquestioned him on why I was just grabbed. His response
was that I looked like a suspect of a stolen car incident that had happened days prior.

Asked on March 5, 2019 under Criminal Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Legally, a person need not be immediately arrested after allegedly committing a crime. They could be charged months or even several years after. However, there is a period of time in which they must ultimately be charged; this is known as the "statute of limitations".  

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be charged "after the fact." There is no law requiring you to be immediately arrested or charged. If drugs were found on you, as they evidently were, you could be be charged up to a number of months later. It is possible that if charged, that you could show that the stop and search were illegal, since there was no warrant and insufficient cause for them, but the presence of a possible defense does not mean you could not be charged in the first place.


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