How Long Can a Felony Charge be Pending?

The question of how ow long can a felony charge be pending is a popular one among those with pending cases in court. The answer to this question is fully discussed in this article.

Even though attorneys break down the legal process, most people still wonder how long a felony charge can be pending. This is because a felony case may seem to take forever and can be exhausting.

However, you should know that the answer to how long can a felony charge be pending depends on the type of crime and the state where it was committed. Let’s go into details.

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Felony Court Procedure

As a target of a criminal investigation, certain procedures occur before you are charged to court. They include,

Felony Indictment

A felony indictment refers to an accusation in writing given to a judge stating that a person has committed a crime.

First, any felon indictment case will be investigated, and enough information about those involved will be gathered.

Next is the awaiting Felony Indictment or the prosecutor’s pressing of charges, which happens after an investigation shows that an individual is involved in the Felony.

The time frame to press charges varies based on the Felony and the statute of limitations for the crime committed.

If the person is charged with a federal crime, such a case is usually given to a grand jury for indictment. A grand jury has to vote on whether the individual should be charged with a crime or not.

If the grand jury decides to indict the person, the prosecutor can arrest the person.

An indictment aims to inform an offender of the charges and also allow them to get legal counsel.

Felony Arraignment

Felony Arraignment is a court proceeding at which an individual is officially informed of the charges against them.

This comes after the individual has been arrested on suspicion of committing the crime.

In some cases, an arraignment may not be set for months. If this happens, the defendant’s attorney can petition the court to drop the charges.

The Judge will review the reason for the delay and decide whether or not to dismiss the charges.

If the cause of the delay is reasonable, an arraignment date will be fixed. Otherwise, the case will be dismissed.

How Long After Indictment Does Arraignment Happen?

An Arraignment should occur within 48 to 72 hours after indictment. It should not take so long because the defendant has a right to a speedy trial.

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Entering a Plea

The defendant must enter a plea at the arraignment — where he can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

If they argue not guilty, the burden is placed on the state to prove that they committed the crime.

Kindly note that the defendant can later change a not-guilty plea to a guilty plea.

At this stage, a judge will determine whether or not the defendant can be released and the conditions for the release. The defendant will not be released if they pose a danger to the community,

Finally, the Judge will fix a date for the defendant’s next appearance.

How Long Can a Felony Case Be Pending?

A felon case can be pending if there is not enough evidence to prosecute a person.

If a case is pending, the statute of limitations will decide how long it will stay open.
However, the general statute of limitations for most felonies is three years.

The statute of limitations is a time legally set aside for legal action to be taken against a person for a committed crime.

The time frame varies based on the level of the crime committed and the state laws where it was committed.

How Long Can a Case Stay Inactive?

A case can stay inactive forever if a bench warrant is issued because a bench warrant has no statute of limitations and doesn’t expire.

How Long Can A Felony Case Last?

A felony case may last for months or years, depending on how complex the case is and defense tactics. However, the length of a felony case varies from case to case.

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How Long Can a Misdemeanor Case Stay Open?

The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is usually a year or two years. However, the level of the crime and the state where it was committed determines how long it can stay open.

How Long Can a Felony Charge be Pending?

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