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I'm wondering...how do I have to press charges if someone is

I'm wondering...how long do I...
I'm wondering...how long do I have to press charges if someone is stealing my medication
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And just to clarify, have charges been officially filed?
Customer: Virginia. No charges have been filed, not even a police report.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
8/15/2017
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28,366
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Verified

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay

On a petty larceny in Virginia, you'd have 5 years to press charges. On a felony, there's no statute of limitations for this type of crime in your state, meaning that it would never get too old for you to prosecute.

That said, the longer you wait, the weaker your case would get, because a recent outcry once a crime was committed tends to bolster the complainant's credibility in the mind of a jury if the defendant chooses to fight the case.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
OK my second question is this what if I know the person that did it and they've admitted it at that I have also told them that I will not be pressing charges and I've said it in a text message and they have proof of that. Does that change whether or not I can? I've also had police here and they were informed as well as the hospital they went to. They weren't ingested they were thrown away and blood tests and urine tests proved they weren't in their system.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hello???

Sorry for the delay. I am juggling several different follow ups, and you have to be patient and wait your turn. I take them in order and am up to yours now.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay, thank you.

It really doesn't change things because you can't press charges. Only the prosecutor can do that. Once you report this, which you might wish to do for any number of reasons, it's the state that decides whether to go forward with charges or not, and it will do so regardless of your promise to the defendant.

But if you don't want to have him prosecuted, instead of reporting him, you could just sue him in small claims court for the value of the medication.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
in order to have all of that happen, I would have to first file a police report and there is no time limit on how long I have in order to file that?

Correct for a felony theft. Otherwise you would have to file the report within 5 years for a misdemeanor.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What makes it the difference in felony versus a misdemeanor charge?

The amount of monetary value of the property defines the seriousness of the crime. Up to $200 would be a misdemeanor. If the medication cost more than that, it's a felony.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I feel the cost was covered by insurance and I didn't have to pay anything for it?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
If*

If it was covered and you sustained no damages, you can't sue. Then you have to decide whether you care about having him punished criminally or not.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
what would prosecution be able to do then as far as charges if I don't have any financial losses and now have more medicine? I'd have to file a report and they decide what to do from there? How would that determine a felony versus a misdemeanor if I didn't have to pay for the medicine?

Your insurance company paid for the medicine, and they would determine the value of it from that. Yes, you'd have to file a report and let the police/prosecutor decide what to do from there.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay. Thank you for your help, that answered a lot of questions. And I have unlimited amount of time to file a report?

If the value of the medication was more than $200., yes.

I strive for 5-star service. If I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or (hopefully) 5 stars on the rating scale, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work. You would still be able to post further follow ups on this question thread about this for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28,366
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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