If you’ve been charged with a crime, the police will have a valid arrest warrant before they come near you. And you are well within your rights to ask them directly of what you’ve been charged for. Moreover, You do have the right to see police reports so that you know what you are being accused of. If charges have been filed against you, you can ask for a copy of the police report through the DA’s office.
There are other ways to know if you’ve been charged with a crime like a post mail arriving at your doorstep or a phone call. If you’re not notified beforehand, the police are likely to simply knock on your door and arrest you.
What does it mean to be charged with a Crime?
If you’re charged with a crime, it means that the authorities have relevant evidence to believe that you’ve committed a crime. This counts you as a legal suspect and you can be arrested on the grounds of being charged.
You are then taken to a police station where you’re interrogated, and you have the right to remain silent until your attorney advises you otherwise.
A person charged with a crime is called the defendant, who is accused of a crime by a plaintiff or a prosecutor. The prosecutor has sufficient grounds to believe that the defendant is guilty of breaking the law and committing a crime. Both parties are sent to the court to file their cases and announce their stance. If the case has to go to trial, it does until the guilty party is revealed and punished.
Can you be charged with a Crime without knowing?
The simple answer to this question is that yes, you can be charged for a crime without knowing it. If someone tips the police against you or files a report against you, the police can show up at your doorstep with handcuffs.
They don’t necessarily have to notify you beforehand that you’ve been listed as a prime suspect for a particular crime, they can just show up at your door and arrest you if they have a warrant.
If you’re still confused as to why you’ve been arrested, you can simply ask the police officer to tell you of the crime you’re a suspect for. That’s probably your best shot to know about the charges.
How do Police charge someone?
The police shall have proper grounds to arrest you or charge you for a particular crime, and there is a certain time limit until the police can legally file a report against someone. This is legally binded in the statute of limitations.
For petty offenses, the police typically have a year to file a report. Most misdemeanors will have a statute of limitations that is equal to two years. For felonies, it usually has five years. For every crime, filing a report is very important so that it comes in the record.
But for a murder charge though, there is no time limit, a report can be filed even after years have passed, but for misdemeanors there is statute limitation. One example is the supreme court ruling of the case of Stogner v. California in 2003. It was a decision which held that California’s retroactive extension of the statute of limitations for sexual offenses committed against minors was an unconstitutional ex post facto law.
In 1998, applicant Marion Stogner was prosecuted for sexual crime from between 1955 and 1973, under California’s particular statute of limitations. It happened after Stogner’s two children were both accused of sexual assault. During the state’s examination of one of the children, Stogner’s daughters revealed that their father explicitly manhandled them and sexually abused them for quite a long time when they were younger than 14. The jury discovered reasonable justification to accuse Stogner of molesting his two daughters.
Stogner argued that the rule abuses the ex post facto law and due process clauses by retroactively invoking laws that were not in place at the time of the alleged offenses. At the time that the crimes were committed, the legal time limit was three years. The people in question, his two daughters, said that they had not announced sooner since they were in dread of their father. The pertinent California law had been reconsidered in 1996, expanding the legal time limit retroactively.
How long can the Police detain you without Charge?
It is not legal for the police to hold up people in custody unless there is proof of a serious crime. Generally, the police have 24 hours until they have to find grounds to charge you for a crime you’re suspected of, or release you. If the 24 hours pass and still there are absolutely no grounds of a crime you’ve been suspected of, the police have to release you.
However, if you’re a suspect in a murder case, the police officer can ask for an extension in the detainment and extend those 24 hours to 72 or 96 hours. After this time limit passes, the police have to release you.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, chances are you’ll only hear about it when the police come knocking at your door with handcuffs and an arrest warrant. Of course, you are at liberty to ask them why you’ve been charged, and you also have a right to remain silent until your attorney comes to your aid.
The police don’t necessarily have to notify you of the crime beforehand, but they need to have sufficient grounds or an arrest warrant to take you to the police station.