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What If the District Attorney in Orange County Doesn’t File Criminal Charges On Time?

When you get arrested or you bail out you are given a date to appear in court. When you are given a citation you are given a specific date to appear in court. The police are supposed to submit their reports to the prosecutor or city attorney in enough time for them to review the case so that everybody is ready to proceed on the day in question. But what happens if you show up at the court house and your name is not on the calendar?

You can go to the clerk of the criminal court and double check. If your name isn’t on the list then the clerk will send you to the DA’s office or the City Attorney’s office (whichever is the prosecuting agency). There, the DA or City Attorney will tell you one of 4 things:

  1. The case was rejected, which means no charges will be filed against you.
  2. The case was sent back for further investigation by the arresting agency.
  3. The case is under review by the District Attorney’s office
  4. The DA’s office hasn’t received anything from the arresting agency yet, so they have no information yet.

Unless the case was rejected outright, it is still active even though nothing has been filed yet. You will receive a letter in the mail telling you when the new date and time has been set for your arraignment and it will be sent to the address you gave when you were arrested. If you have an attorney, the attorney can be in contact with the DA or City Attorney before the new date is set.

There are occasions when the attorney can be in contact with the DA’s office before the case is filed. In the Law Office of Rudolph E. Loewenstein, we check on filings several times a week for our clients. In some cases we can intervene to stop a filing. At the very least we will be aware of when the case will be heard. There have been times when the client never receives the letter from the court in which case a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest. Of course, no one wants that to happen so being proactive can prevent a lot of problems later.