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How long can the prosecutor drag out a case?

Denver, CO |

Arrested June 19th, charged with violation of PO. Protected party showed up where I was. . There was no disturbance but a neighbor called sheriff. Upon arrival we explained what we were doing, were very cooperative. She told officer that she would leave or for him to take her in. That she created the situation,not me. She wrote ltrs to DA & Judge in my defense. Arraignment was 5 days later. Next appearance was 10 days, was continued for 7 days more awaiting discovery. Still wasn't provided with discovery, so continued to Sept 25th. At hearing on 25th was told the prosecutor was let go, and was continued to Oct 2nd. On the 2nd was informed that the new prosecutor had quit. Was again continued for 30days this time. How long can they keep continuing before they must dismiss.

Attorney Answers 4


Both colleagues are correct. Chances are that you have not plead not guilty yet. Hire an attorney and plead not guilty at the next court date. This sounds like it is going from the sublime to the ridiculous and none of these continuances are as a result of your request. You really need an attorney on board to advocate for you. Both of my colleagues are excellent choices.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice. Mr. Leroi answers questions on Avvo because he strongly believes in public service from his years as a judge, magistrate, and prosecutor. If you need to ask any follow up questions because my answer did not fully address your question, feel free to call Chris or post an additional question. Thank you.

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In general, trial must be held within six months of your entry of plea or the case will be dismissed (unless there are continuances that are requested by the Defense).

One thing to note, it is not legal for you to spend time with the protected party with a restraining order even if she initiates the contact and is not troubled by it. The restraining order was not just between her and you, a person with a black robe was involved. She does not have the power to modify or drop the restraining order without the involvement of the Court.

If you don't have an attorney, it is very much in your interest to get one.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC by phone or email. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

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Just to add to Mr. Harkess' response, the right to speedy trial does not begin to run until the day you plead "not guilty." So, as a practical matter, some cases take much longer than others, depending upon the nature and complexity, as well as prosecution or defense strategies.

The information provided in this answer is only general shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship.

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The short answer is basically forever. The statute of limitations controls when a case can be charged, but once it was filed that is not longer relevant. The next timeline for your case is your right to a speedy trial which is 6 months. However, this clock is not started until you enter a not guilty plea after your arraignment. Since this may not have happened yet, you're sitting in the doldrums of the criminal justice system. Be patient as delays almost always benefit your side of the case. Have you hired an attorney yet? If so, tell them about your concerns and they can tell you about the long-term case strategy they have and what the timeline will look like. If not, feel free to contact an attorney using this site. Most lawyers, including my firm, offer a free one hour consultation to discuss the merits and possible defenses of your case.

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