How long does the DA have to bring charges?

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How long does the DA have to bring charges?

My daughter (16) was released on site and not ticketed for an aid/abet petty theft charge on 07/18/10. The storedid not impose any reimbursement charges on her and we never heard anything about the case again. On 10/16/10 she was released into custody to her mother for a curfew and we received a notice in the mail to contact the Marshall’s Department for further instruction. When the paperwork was delivered, it was a court petition for the petty theft charge and nothing on the curfew issue. We don’t dispute the curfew issue but can they come back on the petty theft charge after all of this time?

Asked on November 4, 2010 under Criminal Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations is how long the state has to prosecute or bring charges. It can do so any time within that period. Since the particular type of theft your daughter was charge with is probably a misdemeanor (the less serious type--felonies are the more serious crimes), the state has up to one year from the alleged criminal action to prosecute. You say the alleged theft occured on 7/18/10; that means that she could be charged any time up to 7/18/11. The less than four months that have gone by so far are almost nothing from a legal standpoint; there are still more than 8 months to go during which the state can take action. Below is a link to a government website you may find informative; good luck. http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title19/T19CH4SECT19-403.htm


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