Filing Formal Charges

The Charging Decision

Just because you have been arrested does not mean that you will actually be charged with a crime. After being arrested, the State Attorney reviews the Law Enforcement investigation packet, charging affidavit, and any other evidence they are provided, before making a final decision.

This is a crucial time, because a lawyer can intervene with the State Attorney's Office, provide them with supplemental evidence or mitigation and either persuade them that not to file formal charges, or to file lesser charge that are more appropriate for the conduct alleged.

The worst thing that could happen would be if the State Attorney's Office filed the most severe charges possible for your facts, which puts us at a disadvantage in future negotiations.

Time Limitations

There are certain time limitations that a State Attorney must satisfy in order to lawfully prosecute a defendant. These limitations are the:

  1. 33 Day Motion (ROR Rule);
  2. Speedy Trial Rule; and
  3. Statute of Limitations

Victim Cannot Drop Charges

It is important to note that the State Attorney's office has the sole discretion to decide whether to file formal charges against you. Even if witnesses do not want to testify against you or they want to stop the case, the State Attorney may still press forward on the charges.

Florida law gives the State Attorney this type of discretion and they can subpoena witnesses to come to court and force them to testify.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with a crime in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today for the criminal defense you deserve.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.