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How long can the DA's Office keep my pretrial going before they have to charge me?

Stockton, CA |

I have been going to court for over a year now. Originally they DA's office was going to try to charge me for 2 counts of Welfare Fraud one for food stamps the other for Cash Aid. I have gone to court every time and have been told either the DA isn't there or the DA hasn't decided if he will change it to a misdemeanor or not. I have not been charged with anything and it is starting to get wearing going into court only to find nothing is being done. I have done everything they have asked of me and shown up on all the appointed times. I don't know what else to do. Is there a time limit that they have to charge me?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

The statute of limitations for a felony is 3 years; for a misdemeanor it is 1 year. Get an attorney to discuss this further.

Andrew Roberts (818) 597-0633/ (805) 496-7777

Posted

I agree.. 3 years for a felony, one for a misdemeanor. Usually, the amount of the fraud will be the determining factor whether or not it will be a felony or misdemeanor. Get an attorney as mentioned. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

The amount unfortunately is substantial. Which is why it was originally set to a felony. However the DA's office requested that I make payments and if I do so he will lower both charges to a misdemeanor. I have been making the requested payments but I'm still getting the run around on what will be the charges. Thank you both for your responses they have been very helpful

Stephen Troy Allen

Stephen Troy Allen

Posted

Well, in Riverside usually what happens is that they will file a felony if over 5k and will reduce to a misdemeanor once payment has been made to get the amount under 5k. I don't know exactly what they do in Stockton, but it sounds like they are doing pretty much the same thing. Keep trying to make payments and they will live up to their end to make it a misdemeanor. I would recommend hiring an attorney to assist you in this matter though.

Asker

Posted

Thank you...I already planned on it. I would have been making payments long before this ever went this far but I didn't know they were trying to collect I was going through an eviction at the time and had to move.

Stephen Troy Allen

Stephen Troy Allen

Posted

Well, I wish you the best of luck.. Times are very difficult and a lot of people find themselves in similar circumstances. I have handled a lot of welfare fraud cases and as long as you make a good faith effort and make payments you should avoid jail, and end up with a misdemeanor hopefully. Good luck!

Posted

If you have not be charged then the DA has three years to decide whether to file felony charges against you and one year to decide whether to file misdemeanor charges. If, on the other hand, you have been charged then you and your attorney control how quickly or slowly the case goes to trial or settles.

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