Can you be verbally charged with drug felonies in the state of Arizona without arrest?
Is any paperwork required? Can a police offer just tell you that you're being charged, and tell you you will be notified in the mail, and let you go?
Are they allowed to summon you to court, if no citation or paper was ever signed?
On a road trip I got stopped driving through Arizona on the way back home.
I was told that I was facing drug felony charges the night of the incident, the officer let me go, and let me drive back to my state of residence and I heard nothing about it after.
Ten months later I received a letter saying I have a court date.
The summons letter says I am being charged with a class 4 felony, and two class 6 felonies.
something about my situation doesn't seem right
Criminal Defense Attorney
Yes and yes. This is very common for low level felony offenses.
The only bar to charging someone with a crime is the statute of limitations, which while I can't say exactly what that time frame is, for a felony it is always several years.
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This type of situation isn't all that uncommon. If the prosecutor's office believes that there is a reasonable liklihood of conviction on a case, they can file charges against you. Rather than issuing a warrant and arresting you to ensure that you show up at court, they have asked the court to issue a summons. The summons is a legal court document. If you fail to appear at the time and date listed on the summons, a warrant for your arrest could be issued. For felony matters, the state has up to 7 years to decide whether to bring chargest against you. It sounds like they made the decision that they have enough evidence to charge you with these crimes. These are serious charges and could have serious consequences. You should not take them lightly.
Yes, this is called a long form complaint. Very common.
Aaron M. Black
Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney
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