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Can u be arrested on allegations before they have any results of forensics?

Fullerton, CA |
Attorney answers 6


Nobody can answer your question without more facts about exactly what happened, WHICH YOU SHOULD NOT PROVIDE HERE. If you are being charged with a crime you should meet with a few criminal defense attorneys and see what they say, most offer free consultations. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint you one. Do not speak to anyone other than your attorney about this matter. If law enforcement comes to ask you questions, kindly deny and assert your right to remain silent and to have counsel present.

All my comments here are intended for general legal purposes. None of my comments here establish an attorney-client relationship with anyone. None of my comments should be relied on in taking legal action without first consulting an attorney.


The statute of limitations is how long the prosecution has to file charges. On most misdemeanors, it's one year from the date of the offense. On most felonies, it's three years.

I don't know what type of case you're talking about (and don't post information on a public website), but it could be that they're still investigating the case - either waiting for lab results, DNA or other analysis. The labs are backlogged and unless the case is a high priority, it may take several months. You said the arrest was back in August and it's already been nearly 6 months, so either they're really, really backlogged or there may be no filing on your case.

Can they base an arrest on allegations alone without forensics? Yes - it happens all the time. The amount of evidence to arrest vs. to charge or convict somebody is very different. They may have just had allegations previously (enough to arrest) and are now trying to get additional evidence (forensics or other evidence) in order to file charges in court.

If you're under investigation and/or are pending being charged, I'd suggest getting a lawyer (and potentially a bail bonds agent) lined up so you're not left to scramble if you are re-arrested.


They only need "probable cause" to arrest you. "Probable cause" is less than the amount of evidence necessary for a conviction. Forensic evidence is NOT *generally* required for either probable cause or a conviction if the State has other evidence. However, the forensics in *some* cases may be necessary for both probable cause and/or for the conviction - although in most cases forensics are not used to make the initial arrest (hence generally not used for probable cause). In your case, since you argue that there are "allegations", I take this to mean there are witnesses - and thus chances are that the State in your case has enough evidence for "probable cause".

Once you retain an attorney (s)he will evaluate the evidence for both probable cause and conviction.

Good Luck.



The California Attorneys gave you good answers. I just want to add that yes they can. Here is an example:

A woman calls the police and reports a rape. Police arrive and see badly beaten victim and she tells them who did it. Right now they have probable cause to arrest the suspect even though the victim is going to "be processed" for forensic evidence that may take some time to get back. Even though they don't have the forensic evidence, they still have enough. Even if there was no forensic evidence available and she said he did it, they could still arrest him. Understand? I hope this helps a bit!!

The comments listed here do not create an attorney-client relationship. The comments are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. This attorney is only licensed in Michigan and does not give legal advice in any other state. All comments are to be considered conversational information and you should not rely on these comments as legal advice or in place of retaining an attorney of our own. The comments here are based solely on what you have provided and therefore are general in nature and with more specific facts or details a different answer or outcome could result. The legal system is not a perfect science and this attorney does not guarantee any outcome.


The quick answer is 'Yes' an arrest can be made on probable cause for the arresting officer to believe that an offense has been committed. The short answer is, if you have already been arrested (and hopefully released) and a complaint has been filed charging you with a crime, then the 'arrest' doesn't really matter. The question now is whether the DA will be able to show the needed forensic (or other evidence) to support a conviction? And, while I do not want any additional facts (and you should not post them on the internet where 'anybody' (cops) can see them) 'forensic' evidence is not always necessary for a conviction. If there is a believable victim/witness who says 'you did it' you can be convicted.

Although I am an experienced CA criminal defense and appeals attorney, I can not 'guarantee' that my answer is entirely accurate, since I have not reviewed all of the factual circumstances of the case, nor have I discussed those circumstances fully with the questioner. The fact that I have answered this question does not establish an attorney client relationship between the questioner and my self or my office.



The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.

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