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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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My father was convicted for armed robbery. He had a court date

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My father was convicted for armed robbery. He had a court date and never showed up, so a bench warrant was issue , he never showed uo so a bench warrant was issued. this happened over20 years ago, but he wants to do the right thing and settle this matter. I need To know the statue of limitations on this matter so we can see him. he has been living in another country fearing that he will be in prison all his life and not be able to see his children. This incident happened in California. Can help me?
Hello i375 and welcome to JustAnswer.

Can you please clarify your question -- you said he was convicted -- was the court date he missed for sentencing?

There is no statute of limitations for prosecuting a case once charges are filed -- the statute of limitations only applies to the deadline for filing charges.

So, if charges were filed, even if he was not actually convicted, and a warrant issued for his failure to appear in court, he could still be arrested on the warrant and the prosecution continued.

What punishment might be imposed now would depend on the circumstances of the original case. A robbery, with nothing more, would not result in a lifetime prison sentence. The maximum possible sentence for robbery, depending on the circumstances, is 9 years. Additional time can be added for being armed -- the exact additional time depends on what type of weapon was involved, up to 10 additional years for being armed with an assault weapon, a machine gun or a weapon containing body armor piercing ammunition. So, unless there are additional charges beyond the armed robbery, the maximum possible sentence would be 19 years.

If you can tell me the exact charges and the exact weapon involved, I can tell you more accurately what the potential sentence would be.

Thanks again for asking your question here on JustAnswer.
One correction: in case of a robbery, being armed with any firearm carries an enhancement of 10 years; so the maximum possible sentence is 19 years regardless of the type of firearm used.
Jim Reilly and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Did u get my last question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just spoke to my father that lives in Mexico. He explained to me that when the police officer pulled their car over. None of the occupants had a gun. The officer that conducted the investigation told his captain that there was a robbery in the area so the officer assumed they were involved? Go figure. My father said that he new this officer and they used drink at the same drinking hole. The problem with this officer was since he didn't find drugs or any type of guns that he beat up his friend so bad he put him in the hospital. The attorney at that time wanted my father to testify against the police officer and my father was scared of retaliation from the police department. That why he never went to court and or convicted for anything. I would like to give you his info. To see the status on file if possible. Sounds like your LAPD in the days. Please advise. Thank you-Sandra
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
For Jim Reilly
Thank you for the excellent service rating, Sandra. I appreciate it.

If charges were filed but your father was never convicted of anything, and a warrant was issued for his failure to appear, he could be arrested on that warrant if he returns to California.

Then it would be up to the DA to decide whether or not to proceed with the case. This would depend on several factors, including the availability of witnesses and other evidence. Sometimes, after this long, it is simply not practical to try a case.

From what your father told you on the phone, it doesn't sound like they would have a very good case, but it's just not possible to know that for sure without reading all of the reports.

Depending on what county this occurred in, information about your father's case status might be available online. Let me know what county and I'll take a look to see what information, if any, is available.