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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26740
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was indicted on terroristic threats, is there a statute of

Customer Question

I was indicted on terroristic threats, is there a statute of limitations after indictment
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.

Once a criminal case has been filed with the court, the statute of limitations no longer applies. However, the state cannot take forever in order to be ready for trial on your case. You have a right under both your state and Federal constitutions to a speedy trial.

Speedy trial law is very complex. The court won't look at how long the case has been pending but at a four-part balancing test proposed by the Supreme Court:

They'll analyze

1) the length of the delay
2) the reasons for the delay
3) the assertion of speedy trial rights
4) any prejudice to the defendant due to the delay.

Cases can take more than a year to ripen before you'll get your trial and still not be dismissable on speedy trial grounds. But if/when you feel that the prosecution has been stalling for an unreasonable length of time, you need to discuss your speedy trial rights with your attorney. He could tell you whether or not a motion to dismiss on speedy trial grounds would be entertained at that point. If so, he ought to make such a motion.

If not, however, I will tell you that rushing into a felony trial too quickly would generally be a disaster. Delay is almost always a friend to the defense.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Lets say I don't show up for a couple of years for any reason, will statue of limitations still apply

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

The case has been indicted. That means the statute of limitations has already been satisfied.

If you evade the jurisdiction of the court a warrant will issue for your arrest. That warrant will never expire. It will remain out against you until you either come back to court -- voluntarily or in handcuffs -- to have the judge lift the warrant and deal with your case or for the rest of your life, whichever comes first.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

what can be done to get the charges dropped

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
This case has been indicted. That means the prosecutor has his witnesses lined up and a grand jury thinks he has the right kind of evidence. The prosecutor has the power to dismiss any case, but I see no reason why he should from the facts that you are given.

I suggest you get yourself a lawyer if you haven't already because you're either going to have to fight this case or take some kind of a plea. Unless something totally unforeseen happens this case will not be dismissed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So could it be possible for my lawyer try to cut a deal with the prosecutor to drop the charges or reduce a felony to a misdemeanor

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it's possible. How likely it is that you will get the results you want will depend upon the facts and circumstances of your case. Generally, some sort of a reduction is more likely than a dismissal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was told of an attorney, that statue of limitations also occur even after being indicted, meaning if I don't show up within a couple of years

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
The attorney is wrong or misunderstood your question.

The statute of limitations no longer applies if the case has been filed with the court. It's been satisfied. And a warrant has no expiration date. Sometimes, depending upon the nature of the case if you abscond from the court and disappear, by the time they catch you the state has lost track of its witnesses and can't go forward. Other times though, the witnesses are all police witnesses, and the state can still bring them in and prosecute even years later.

Stop hoping for a miracle. Get counsel and deal with your case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am not hoping for a miracle that's what an attorney told me before

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Either he has never practiced a day of criminal law in his life, or he misunderstood your question. You don't have a statute of limitations issue, as the statute was satisfied the day the case was filed with the court.

You may have a speedy trial issue if there is delay, however if YOU cause the delay by disappearing, you lose that possibility too.