How long after arrest do I have to wait to find out what the charges are?

Question:

Suspects are entitled to know whether they will face charges within a few days at most of their arrest.

How long after arrest do I have to wait to find out what the charges are?

Answer:

For suspects who are in custody, speedy trial laws typically require prosecutors to file charges, if at all, within 72 hours of arrest. Some jurisdictions require prosecutors to charge a suspect even sooner.

For example, California requires that charges be filed within 48 hours. (Cal. Penal Code § 825.) However, prosecutors’ initial charging decisions are subject to change. For example, a prosecutor may not make a final decision on charges until after a preliminary hearing, which may take place more than a month after arrest.

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