Unfortunately, it happens, you come in contact with the police and they advise you that they will let you know that charges are going to be filed. These types of situations are called investigation cases.
To wait for a summons in the mail to appear at Court.
Sometimes you keep a look out for this sort of document, but you haven’t received anything, and it’s already been three months four months and now you are wondering what’s going on.
When you come in contact with the police, they do take notes and they do file a police report.
Not all officers write the police report though.
Sometimes it takes a month or two to have these police reports available.
Once the police report is written then it is staffed with the State.
The State then has some time to see if charges will be filed given the evidence that will or has been provided.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor the county attorney has up to a year to file charges.
It is very common to have charges be filed after three month or even five months.
There’s even been times where charges get filed on the last month.
You will receive a notice in the mail, that’s why it’s important to keep the address up to date with MVD so you can be aware of any notifications.
For felony cases, these are more serious offenses and the State does have more time to file charges.
If there’s an allegation of you being accused with a felony the State does have up to seven years to file charges.
This is a very scary procedure as you never know when they will be filed or not, but you do have to keep in mind that sometimes there is insufficient evidence and charges do not get filed, the law is just written to where the State does have up to seven years to file charges.
What if charges are filed and I have a misdemeanor?
If charges have been filed and you have been notified by mail, or you have seen your case be filed on line, then this means that you will have to hire an attorney to help you with your matter to solve your case.
If you are not able to hire an attorney and the case has penalties of jail time, a public defender will be assigned.
You will go through the regular procedure of a misdemeanor case. For these type of cases the attorney representing you is able to attend the Court hearings without you being present.
What if charges are filed and I have a felony?
If charges have been filed and it’s charged as a felony, then you will go through the whole procedure.
You will receive your summons, go to your initial appearance, and start your case from there.
For these cases you will also have a public defender if you are not able to hire a private attorney.
You are required to attend all court hearings along with your attorney, if you do not appear then a warrant will be issued.
What if I have been booked?
If you have been booked for alleged charges and have a case number, this does not necessarily mean you have a case.
When the case has not been filed and the case number starts with a PF, that stands for pre-file, then that means that the State has up to 72 hours from the date of violation to file charges.
If charges are not filed that case number will remain and you may use that number to check for pending charges. If charges have been filed then the case number will change to a CR.
Is there anything I can do meanwhile?
Yes, you may hire an attorney if you have had contact with the police and are not sure if charges will be filed or not.
The attorney will file a letter of representation provide that to both the detective or police officer involved, to contact them if they every try to contact the client himself.
A letter of representation will also be provided to you in case someone tries to reach out and speak directly to you, you can provide them with this letter of representation to give the attorney’s a call instead.
We do check for charges online and called our internal phone numbers to see if they have been filed as well.
Where can I check if charges have been filed?
If charges are filed you may check online, below you will see websites you can long into to check if charges have been filed:
Please note that this procedure is for the State of Arizona.