One of the most basic concepts of law is that of due process, which is the notion that a party to a lawsuit is given notice of the case prior to a final adjudication. Along with the idea that parties to lawsuits be made aware of pending cases against them are various deadlines by which action must be taken in a case, or a litigant is prevented from doing so in the future. One of the most important deadlines is that of the statute of limitations. This statute limits the amount of time, after which, a case cannot even be filed. For example, if you are in a car wreck you only have a certain number of years to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, or you will be forever barred from doing so. Criminal law works the same way, and it is the prosecution’s job to bring charges against a defendant within the appropriate limitations statute.
A recent case makes this a bit more clear, especially if you have been charged with a certain degree of felony. The case at issue dealt with an alleged violation of a statute classified as a third degree felony. That particular law gives authorities three years to prosecute the accused. The Court, in dismissing the case against the defendant, made it clear that this includes:
- A reasonable effort, on the part of the state, to locate and apprehend the defendant.
- Ignoring common search engines and social media sites in an effort to learn the whereabouts of a defendant for arrest is an insufficient effort on the part of the state.
- Unreasonable delay in trying to locate a defendant or in making an arrest is not good cause to consider the timely filing of the information sufficient to allow the case to remain on file.
If you have been arrested, this type of argument may not work for your defense. However, there are other deadlines within your case that must be followed and if not, you should seek dismissal or reduction of the charges. We have experience reviewing the timeline, the actions taken, and can develop a defense strategy that fits the facts of your case. Whether you are facing a DUI, grow house charges, or a traffic violation, call our office for help.
If you have questions about criminal defense, call our office for help. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.