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FAQ > What is a criminal charge?

Criminal charges are an accusation that the defendant committed a crime.  The police can bring charges for misdemeanors (aka, DUI, Shoplifting, etc.).  For felonies a prosecutor has to review the case and file the charges with the court.  Sometimes the police will arrest the defendant and book him or her in jail.  In that case the charges will be immediate and the prosecutor will review and approve the charges within 48 hours.  Other times, the police send the case to the prosecutor and charges are filed later.  The prosecutor has seven (7) years to file charges so just because it’s been a couple months since the police accused the defendant of a crime it does not mean it went away.

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