Featured News 2016 How Long Does the State Have to File DUI Charges?

How Long Does the State Have to File DUI Charges?

If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or DWI, you may be wondering if the state has a time limit for which they can file criminal charges against you. Yes, prosecutors do have to adhere to specific deadlines when it comes to filing DUI charges.

Sometimes a driver is arrested for DUI, but months go by and the DA has yet to file charges. Now, the individual wonders if they dodged a bullet, or if they have to keep worrying about being thrown in jail. It's a valid concern indeed!

Criminal Statute of Limitations for DUI

In criminal law, there is what is called "criminal statute of limitations," which is the time limit the state prosecutor has to file criminal charges against an individual. Most, but not all crimes have a statute of limitations. Usually, serious violent crimes, such as aggravated sexual assault, or murder do not have a statute of limitations.

In California for example, the statute of limitations for a misdemeanor DUI is one year, and for a felony DUI, it's three years. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a Class A or B misdemeanor is two years, and for a felony DUI, it's three years.

Still No DUI Charges After First Court Appearance

It's not uncommon for someone to be arrested for DUI and when they show up for their first court appearance, they are told that the prosecutor has not filed DUI charges yet.

This happens for various reasons: the prosecutor may have too many cases, they may be waiting to get the results back on a blood tests, or they may be investigating the case further. Usually, the DUI suspect will be told that the DA will mail them a letter when they file formal charges.

Sometimes months pass with no word from the court, and the DUI suspect doesn't know what to do. Are they off the hook? Probably not. In almost all cases, the prosecutor will file the DUI charges within the state's statute of limitations.

If you were arrested for DUI, contact a DUI defense attorney at once to defend your case!

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