Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog


What can I do so no charges get filed? Is my case barred by the law from being prosecuted?

Posted on: May 21, 2007 at 12:26 a.m.

A defense lawyer may convince a prosecutor ("filing DA") from not pursuing criminal charges. A Filing DA reviews the police reports, and investigation submitted to him by the arresting police agency. If the Filing DA decides no charges will be filed, the case is referred to as a "reject." There are many reasons why a case is rejected, including problems of proof, interests of justice, or a non-desirous victim. Early intervention by a defense attorney often makes this happen. However, the prosecutor may always revisit the decision not to file criminal charges if the "Statute of Limitations" period has not expired. So, if say in neighbor dispute, one neighbor continue to harrass the victim, the prosecutor may choose to file charges over the first incident despite the initial decision to reject the case. Every criminal offense has a statute of limitations period that is set out by the Penal Code. In simple terms, the less serious the crime, the shorter the statute -- in other words, the Prosecutor has less time to decide on filing criminal charges. In misdemeanor cases, California law provides the statute is 1 year; in felonies, the statutes is 3 years or more depending on how serious the crime is. Once the Statute of Limitations expires, the offense cannot be prosecuted in court (with one exception, murder cases have no limitation - that is why cold case DNA cases are prosecuted sometime 10, 20, or 30 years later.)

Tagged as: california criminal laws, faq

Comments:

ron J. on June 16, 2007 at 4:14 p.m. wrote:

I think I understand now. If the crime was reported to the police, for instance a car theft, it is at that point that the statute of limitations begins not necessarily when the car is recovered or an arrest is made. If I got it right then thanks very much for your clarification. It was very helpful as I know many people are confused about this principle


Law Blog on June 16, 2007 at 2:03 p.m. wrote:

The Statute of Limitations is a technical but very significant legal issue. A crime may be committed, say an embezzlement from a company by a bookkeeper, but the owner of the company may not be aware the theft is occuring, or has occured. The Statute of Limitations does not begin to run until after the owner realizes he is being victimized. A famous California decision, People v. Zamora, addresses this point of law. After this court ruling, prosecutors have to file 'Zamora' allegations to prove why the Statute was tolled, or did not begin to run, in the case. In other words, if the crime happened, the statute ran, and then the victim finds out he has been defrauded, the prosecutor must prove in court why the statute was tolled (ie. lack of knowledge by victim) for the case to move forward.


ron J. on June 16, 2007 at 11:45 a.m. wrote:

I'm just a little confused. On one hand you seem to say that the statute of limitations is a restraint on the time allowed the prosecution to FILE charges. This could mean from the time the police discover evidence not from the time the crime was originally committed. But then on the other hand you seem to suggest that the statute of limitations IS from the time the crime was committed. Did I miss something?


Eric T. on June 5, 2007 at 9:03 p.m. wrote:

In regards to Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol, what are your rights if you are pulled over by a police officer? Must you take a breath test and/or their sobriety tests? Can you refuse of any of these tests? What if you feel that you have been targeted by the police as you leave a bar or club? Can police officers station themselves outside of these facilities? What if you have taken medication and feel drowsy, can you still recieve the same punishment as if you took an illegal drug?


Law Blog on May 24, 2007 at 4:36 p.m. wrote:

A crime that is not brought to court within the statute of limitations cannot be prosecuted. A recent example of this can be found in the L.A. District Attorney's Office prosecution of priests who sexually abused minors. Most these cases fell outside the statute of limitations, and thus the prosecutions could not move forward.


Law Blog on May 24, 2007 at 4:34 p.m. wrote:

The statute of limitations in many sex crime cases is 8 years, after the date of the offense. However, in cases where the alleged victim is under age, the statute is extended to a year after the reporting of the incident to law enforcement. So if an 18 year old comes to the police station ten years after she or he was molested, the police can still seek criminal charges so long as they take no longer than 1 year to bring them to court.


Law Blog on May 24, 2007 at 4:29 p.m. wrote:

All direct and circumstantial evidence (witnesses, defendant statements, fingerprints, weapons, etc) is used in a jury trial, whether it is a DUI, rape, or murder prosecution. If a Defendant is acquitted however, then he cannot be reprosecuted because of the Double Jeopardy protection in the United States Constitutions. So if new evidence arises afterwards, it cannot be used. Thus prosecutors often wait until they have sufficient evidence before indicting or filing a criminal complaint against a defendant. This is problematic area for prosecutors at times. For example a defendant may flee after being released from custody, because prosecutors chose not to file charges after his arrest due to insufficient evidence.


Josilin on May 22, 2007 at 10:27 p.m. wrote:

What if new evidence comes up besides DNA in a murder trial? Could they still choose to prosecute if after the period has past some convicting evidence arose?


Anna Kvorning on May 22, 2007 at 4:07 p.m. wrote:

I was wondering what the Statute of Limitations is in case of rape? As it is often the case that the victim actually knows the offender (it might be a family member, friend or acquaintance) she/he will maybe choose not to prosecute because they feel sorry for the offender or guilty for causing them trouble. It can also be that the victim is very young and insecure when it happens and thus too afraid of the consequences from prosecuting their offender - or they might just be traumatized about having to face him again during a lawsuit. What are their possibilities of reopening the case later in their lives?









Eisner Gorin LLP has been recognized as one of the best U.S. law firms, based on the experience, professionalism, and ethics of its criminal defense lawyers and attorneys. We aggressively defend clients in all Southern California courtrooms on state and federal charges, including DUI, DMV, misdemeanor, felony, juvenile cases, in the following communities and courthouses.

Los Angeles County, CA: Agoura, Altadena, Alhambra, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, Century City, Chatsworth, Compton, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Downtown Criminal Court, El Segundo, East Los Angeles, Eastlake, Encino, El Monte, Glendale, Glendora, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Inglewood, Los Angeles Lawyer, La Canada, LAX Court, Los Padrinos, Long Beach, Los Angeles Attorney, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, Newhall, Norwalk, Palos Verdes, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Marino, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Sherman Oaks, Sierra Madre, Santa Monica, South Gate, South Pasadena, Sylmar, Torrance, Universal City, Valencia, Van Nuys, West Covina, West Hollywood, Walnut, Westchester, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, Whittier, Woodland Hills, California. Orange County, CA: Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine Attorney, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, La Habra, La Palma, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Orange County Lawyer, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda, California. Ventura County, CA: Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, San Buenaventura, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village. San Bernardino County, CA: Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland.

Call Today! Free Immediate Response.  (818) 781-1570 / Available 24/7

Confidential
Consultations
877-781-1570

Clients' Ratings 10/10 Superb Recognition


Rated Top 2.5% Law Firm in California


Our firm has the Highest Rating ("A.V. Preeminent") from Martindale-Hubbell, a national lawyers' review company, for professionalism, ethics, and competence.

peer review



Certified Specialist Criminal Law and Defense, State Bar of California Legal Specialization

legal specialization

Firm partners provide legal commentary on national television and radio. The firm has also litigated a number of high-profile criminal defense matters which have been covered by the media.



Criminal Defense Court Victories - Part 1

Additional Defense Court Victories - Part 2

Additional Defense Court Victories - Part 3

LA DUI Defense Court Victories

Linkedin Professional Proflle
View DMITRY GORIN's profile on LinkedIn



Firm Fan Page & News




Our Criminal Defense Partners



Alan Eisner



Dmitry Gorin


Prior Criminal Law Posts

  • arrest warrant (2)
  • arson pc 451 (1)
  • assault (1)
  • bail and release (5)
  • bench warrants (4)
  • california criminal laws (48)
  • child pornography pc 311_11 (11)
  • counterfeit goods pc 350 (14)
  • domestic violence pc 273_5 (7)
  • driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (1)
  • drug addiction and treatment (2)
  • drug crimes defense (23)
  • dui drunk driving defense vc 23152 (4)
  • faq (20)
  • federal law and defense (25)
  • firearms crimes (None)
  • gang allegations (8)
  • high profile defense (8)
  • immigration consequences (12)
  • internet crimes defense (4)
  • jury trial defense (34)
  • juvenile crime (1)
  • juvenile law (5)
  • los angeles child pornography defense attorney (3)
  • los angeles criminal defense attorney (23)
  • los angeles drug crimes defense attorney (4)
  • los angeles drug laws (1)
  • los angeles drug offense (1)
  • los angeles embezzlement (2)
  • los angeles federal crime defense lawyer (1)
  • los angeles marijuana laws (1)
  • los angeles medical fraud defense attorney (1)
  • los angeles medical marijuana attorney (3)
  • los angeles medical marijuana dispensary (1)
  • los angeles murder defense (1)
  • los angeles paparazzi law (1)
  • los angeles police brutality defense (1)
  • los angeles sex crime defense attorney (9)
  • los angeles violent crime defense attorney (6)
  • los angeles warrant (1)
  • los angeles white collar defense attorney (3)
  • medical marijuana (1)
  • medicinal marijuana laws (2)
  • motion to dismiss unlawful police search (12)
  • police misconduct (3)
  • pornography (1)
  • probation and sentencing laws (11)
  • resisting arrest pc 148 (2)
  • riverside kidnapping defense attorney (1)
  • san fernando violent crime defense lawyer (1)
  • sex crime accusations (37)
  • sex crimes (3)
  • theft (16)
  • three strikes laws (6)
  • untagged (2)
  • vandalism pc 594 (5)
  • violent crimes defense (24)
  • white collar crime fraud theft laws (22)



  • Local Courthouse Specialist: Specializing in Van Nuys, San Fernando, Sylmar Juvenile, and all other valley courtrooms.Email