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Is this common practice by a DA?

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mollym.sequoia@

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? California

This is happening an awful lot in my county and I really need to know if this is legal:

Guy gets pulled over. Cop sees drugs on floor of car. Cop arrests and books Guy into jail. Guy gets bail bondsman to post bail and is released. Guy returns for court. No prosecutor shows up to court. Guy is exonerated by judge. 300 days later Guy gets one letter saying that charges will be pressed and is given a new court date.

In some ibstances this has happened instead: Guy doesn't recieve letter. Guy is arrested for not showing up to court. Guy gets new charge that Prosecutor uses as leverage.

I know there are statute of limitations on crimes. But there is no reason not to press charges at the first court date wgen the cases are very obvious (guy has drugs on person, felon with a firearm, etc.). These are cases in which charges are obvious but the charges are 90% of the time postponed and filed later or sometimes charges are never filed even though Guy was arrested. Meaning in some cases Guy pays forbailbobdsman service even though no charges are filed.

Is this legal? Is it ethical?

I've asked a ton of different sites about this, the answers are 50-50. Some say its totally OK for this to be common practice by the prosecutor. Others say that there has to be a very good readon for them to delay pressing charges, especkally after they book a person and make them post bail. I really could use an answer fr9m someone who knows legal ethics.

Also, soneone from a different site said that they didn't care to discuss hypothetical questions. This is not a hypothetical question. Ive spoken to 30 recently arrested people in my county. 27 of them were released and had charges filed on them months later. Most didn't get the letter saying the charges were filed and learned about them as they were getting arrested for failure to appear to the court date in the letter. Even if they showed up the first time.

Also, the average person in my county makes less than $30k annually. Many are homeless. Plus it's a rural area- no mailboxes- lots of theft from the few mailboxes there are- people share PO Boxes to save money. It's a well known fact that mail isn't the best way to communicate and the individuals that did recieve the follow up letter, only received one letter.

It just seems strange to me. At the least it's unfair- I think.

What do you think? Is this legal?
 


Just Blue

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? California

This is happening an awful lot in my county and I really need to know if this is legal:

Guy gets pulled over. Cop sees drugs on floor of car. Cop arrests and books Guy into jail. Guy gets bail bondsman to post bail and is released. Guy returns for court. No prosecutor shows up to court. Guy is exonerated by judge. 300 days later Guy gets one letter saying that charges will be pressed and is given a new court date.

In some ibstances this has happened instead: Guy doesn't recieve letter. Guy is arrested for not showing up to court. Guy gets new charge that Prosecutor uses as leverage.

I know there are statute of limitations on crimes. But there is no reason not to press charges at the first court date wgen the cases are very obvious (guy has drugs on person, felon with a firearm, etc.). These are cases in which charges are obvious but the charges are 90% of the time postponed and filed later or sometimes charges are never filed even though Guy was arrested. Meaning in some cases Guy pays forbailbobdsman service even though no charges are filed.

Is this legal? Is it ethical?

I've asked a ton of different sites about this, the answers are 50-50. Some say its totally OK for this to be common practice by the prosecutor. Others say that there has to be a very good readon for them to delay pressing charges, especkally after they book a person and make them post bail. I really could use an answer fr9m someone who knows legal ethics.

Also, soneone from a different site said that they didn't care to discuss hypothetical questions. This is not a hypothetical question. Ive spoken to 30 recently arrested people in my county. 27 of them were released and had charges filed on them months later. Most didn't get the letter saying the charges were filed and learned about them as they were getting arrested for failure to appear to the court date in the letter. Even if they showed up the first time.

Also, the average person in my county makes less than $30k annually. Many are homeless. Plus it's a rural area- no mailboxes- lots of theft from the few mailboxes there are- people share PO Boxes to save money. It's a well known fact that mail isn't the best way to communicate and the individuals that did recieve the follow up letter, only received one letter.

It just seems strange to me. At the least it's unfair- I think.

What do you think? Is this legal?
Please have one or more of the 27 join to ask their legal question.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
It's legal and not unethical. Note that where the charge is drug possession, the delay is likely because the suspected drugs have to be sent to a lab to be tested to determine for sure what it is and to get an official weight of the drug in question. If the labs are backed up, it may take quite some time to get the results back.
 

doucar

Junior Member
Which would you rather have. Charges filed immediately, then at trial months or years later, the DA goes oops, the lab results are back and it was oregano not marijuana, our bad or delay in filing charges until they can prove the weight and type of drugs?
 

quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? California

This is happening an awful lot in my county and I really need to know if this is legal:

Guy gets pulled over. Cop sees drugs on floor of car. Cop arrests and books Guy into jail. Guy gets bail bondsman to post bail and is released. Guy returns for court. No prosecutor shows up to court. Guy is exonerated by judge. 300 days later Guy gets one letter saying that charges will be pressed and is given a new court date.

In some ibstances this has happened instead: Guy doesn't recieve letter. Guy is arrested for not showing up to court. Guy gets new charge that Prosecutor uses as leverage.

I know there are statute of limitations on crimes. But there is no reason not to press charges at the first court date wgen the cases are very obvious (guy has drugs on person, felon with a firearm, etc.). These are cases in which charges are obvious but the charges are 90% of the time postponed and filed later or sometimes charges are never filed even though Guy was arrested. Meaning in some cases Guy pays forbailbobdsman service even though no charges are filed.

Is this legal? Is it ethical?

I've asked a ton of different sites about this, the answers are 50-50. Some say its totally OK for this to be common practice by the prosecutor. Others say that there has to be a very good readon for them to delay pressing charges, especkally after they book a person and make them post bail. I really could use an answer fr9m someone who knows legal ethics.

Also, soneone from a different site said that they didn't care to discuss hypothetical questions. This is not a hypothetical question. Ive spoken to 30 recently arrested people in my county. 27 of them were released and had charges filed on them months later. Most didn't get the letter saying the charges were filed and learned about them as they were getting arrested for failure to appear to the court date in the letter. Even if they showed up the first time.

Also, the average person in my county makes less than $30k annually. Many are homeless. Plus it's a rural area- no mailboxes- lots of theft from the few mailboxes there are- people share PO Boxes to save money. It's a well known fact that mail isn't the best way to communicate and the individuals that did recieve the follow up letter, only received one letter.

It just seems strange to me. At the least it's unfair- I think.

What do you think? Is this legal?
The best thing for you and all of your friends to do if arrested for possession of drugs (or arrested for any crime) is to get an attorney. The attorney will help ensure rights are protected.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
Drug possession in CA is a misdemeanor. The state has one year to initiate criminal charges. The letter is a courtesy. Ultimately, the arrest would have been for an arrest warrant on the charges of drug possession and not for a failure to appear unless you were issued a citation and did not show.

Hopefully this "guy" has an attorney who can advise him on how best to proceed.
 

quincy

Senior Member
... Hopefully this "guy" has an attorney who can advise him on how best to proceed.
mollym has spoken with 27 "guys". All of them should have (or should have had) attorneys.

Her concerns seem misplaced. She should be telling her friends to not violate laws when driving so they are not stopped by the police - and to not carry drugs with them when driving.
 
Last edited:

mollym.sequoia@

Junior Member
The best thing for you and all of your friends to do if arrested for possession of drugs (or arrested for any crime) is to get an attorney. The attorney will help ensure rights are protected.
Like
Which would you rather have. Charges filed immediately, then at trial months or years later, the DA goes oops, the lab results are back and it was oregano not marijuana, our bad or delay in filing charges until they can prove the weight and type of drugs?

What's the excuse for felon with gun? Is just being backed up an acceptable excuse? And let's be serious; I've interviewed cops quite often. They know the difference between marijuana and oregano, cocaine and flour, methamphetamines and salt. They're smart guys our boys in blue If they are confident enough
I have a sneaking suspicion that there are plenty of impaired drivers who wouldn't listen to mollym's advice (should she give it) and who, therefore, will still need your services.
You guys are not getting the point of why I'm asking these questions. They are not my friends. I'm not giving them advice. I only want to ensure that everyone is treated fairly by our local justice system. I'm a freelance journalist that cares about the rights of the individual.

These are all poverty stricken individuals that were arrested for varying circumstances. They are men, women, old, young. Each time they were represented by a Public Defender because they were poor. Public Defenders only become your lawyer after you're charged. I'm investigating (not offering advise) why the DA's office waits for almost a year to charge them and if it's common practice. During that time period they wouldnt have had a lawyer to monitor their civil rights because they hadn't been assigned a PD yet.

If this is normal practice, please tell me. lf its not normal for 85% of the people arrested in a county to not get charged until a year after they were arrested, then let me know.

Questioning the local justice system is important. It's more effective when ethically operated.
 

mollym.sequoia@

Junior Member
mollym has spoken with 27 "guys". All of them should have (or should have had) attorneys.

Her concerns seem misplaced. She should be telling her friends to not violate laws when driving so they are not stopped by the police - and to not carry drugs with them when driving.
Like



What's the excuse for felon with gun? Is just being backed up an acceptable excuse? And let's be serious; I've interviewed cops quite often. They know the difference between marijuana and oregano, cocaine and flour, methamphetamines and salt. They're smart guys our boys in blue. If they are confident enough to arrest someone for drugs, then the substance is probably drugs. I see no reason why the DA would question them. It's insulting to even think that an experienced cop would confuse marijuana for oregano. I hope that isn't an issue where you live, because the cops in my town wouldn't make such a dumb mistake.


You guys are not getting the point of why I'm asking these questions. They are not my friends. I'm not giving them advice. I only want to ensure that everyone is treated fairly by our local justice system. I'm a freelance journalist that cares about the rights of the individual.

These are all poverty stricken individuals that were arrested for varying circumstances. They are men, women, old, young. Each time they were represented by a Public Defender because they were poor. Public Defenders only become your lawyer after you're charged. I'm investigating (not offering advise) why the DA's office waits for almost a year to charge them and if it's common practice. During that time period they wouldnt have had a lawyer to monitor their civil rights because they hadn't been assigned a PD yet.

If this is normal practice, please tell me. lf its not normal for 85% of the people arrested in a county to not get charged until a year after they were arrested, then let me know.

Questioning the local justice system is important. It's more effective when ethically operated.
 

mollym.sequoia@

Junior Member
The best thing for you and all of your friends to do if arrested for possession of drugs (or arrested for any crime) is to get an attorney. The attorney will help ensure rights are protected.
Not my friends. I've never been arrested. I'm investigating a practice I observed and thought was unfair.
Drug possession in CA is a misdemeanor. The state has one year to initiate criminal charges. The letter is a courtesy. Ultimately, the arrest would have been for an arrest warrant on the charges of drug possession and not for a failure to appear unless you were issued a citation and did not show.

Hopefully this "guy" has an attorney who can advise him on how best to proceed.
But if he was already arrested and booked, Then why arrest him again? The letters these people received had the charges listed and a new trial date. And, no, they did not have attorneys. Every alleged offender I interviewed was poor. The average person in this county makes $30,000/year. Since Public Defenders are not assigned until charges are issued they were not issued a lawyer for up to a year after they were arrested. So for that year, no one was there monitoring their civil rights.

80% of the people that get arrested in this county are released after the first court date or their bail is exonerated. This is because, although they were arrested and booked, no charges were filed. This is for felony offences and misdemeanor offences of all types (not just involving drugs- these people were arrested for offences ranging from domestic abuse, felon with a firearm, stolen vehicles, possession just happened to be the most common offence committed by the people I interviewed). The DA filed the charges nearly a year later in all of these cases.

If they were arrested based the charge then it doesn't seem right to make them get arrested for the same event/offence twice. They already were arrested, the DA just let them go only to charge them later.

Is this ethical? Why? Why not?
 

mollym.sequoia@

Junior Member
It's legal and not unethical. Note that where the charge is drug possession, the delay is likely because the suspected drugs have to be sent to a lab to be tested to determine for sure what it is and to get an official weight of the drug in question. If the labs are backed up, it may take quite some time to get the results back.
What would be the excuse for delaying the other cases: the charges are delayed for 80% of the people arrested in this county. This includes felon with a firearm, possession of stolen items, even spousal abuse.

The person gets arrested for these things and booked into jail. They show up to trail and DA does not. The judge exonerates the offender (but that is a bail exoneration only). The offender goes home. A year later the charges are issued and the offender gets arrested for the event he was previously arrested for. In some cases this means posting bail twice for a single event. It doesn't seem right. What do you think?
 

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