In many cases in a California criminal case, charges are filed right after the crime occurs. However, when a misdemeanor crime occurs, the statute of limitations changes. The district attorney has one year from the date of arrest until they absolutely have to file charges against you. There are some reasons why they may wait some time before they file charges, but if they have not been filed and a year has passed, your charges may be dropped – unless you are first formally dismissed by the district attorney themselves.

Length of the Criminal Case Process 

You never really know how long your case is going to take firsthand, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony crime. However, you do have a right to a speedy trial under the law once the criminal proceedings have actually begun. In California, if a defendant is charged with a felony, they must be brought to trial within 60 days of being arraigned unless the court has “good cause” for delay. If no good cause is shown, then the judge must dismiss the charges.

In California, if a defendant is in custody and was charged with a misdemeanor or infraction, they have the right to go to trial within 30 days. If somebody is out on bail or their own recognizance, they have 45 days total. However, because the law is always changing and because sometimes delays are inevitable for a variety of reasons, there is no hard-and-fast practice used today. If you are in custody, you usually don’t want to “waive time”, which is something for you to think about. There are many elements involved in these cases, so you should always consult your defense attorney in any case. They will understand how long your case should take from start to finish. Contact us for more.