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How long does the state have to file charges?


When a person has been arrested for a crime in Tennessee, they can feel scared and not in control. Law enforcement officials can be intimidating and it can be hard to know what is going on with your case. One major a question a person who has been recently arrested for a crime like assault may be wondering is how long it is going to take before the state files charges against them.

There is a time limit within which a prosecutor has to bring charges against someone who has been arrested. A person who has been arrested cannot be held without being charged for an unreasonable amount of time. Criminal defendants in the United States have the right to a speedy trial. Also, a person who has been arrested for a crime cannot be held without being charged for an unreasonable amount of time. Prosecutors generally have 72 hours to decide if they will charge a person with a crime.

If a person has been arrested for a serious crime they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in criminal law. An attorney has the experience to know all of the laws that pertain to a defendant's unique situation. They can negotiate with the prosecution and make sure their client's voice is being heard. A conviction of an offense such as a violent crime, sexual crime or drug crime can bring a long prison sentence and high fines.

Everyone has the right to be heard even if they have been arrested for a serious crime. It can be important for a defendant to have an attorney on their side to help them tell their side of the story.

Source: criminal.findlaw.com, "How long may police hold suspects before charges must be filed?", accessed on Sept. 26, 2015

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