Three weeks isn't a long time in this instance. Because they were investigating and didn't make an arrest that day, the case will be written up and submitted to the DA. The Orange County DA is notoriously backlogged, so it may take them a month or so from when the report is submitted for them to get to it.
Because it's a misdemeanor, if they decide to file charges, they will typically send a letter to the address listed in the police report notifying you of charges being filed and a date to appear.
No, they don't send you notice if no charges are filed.
If you've retained an attorney, their office should be keeping up with the status of your case.
In addition to the comments above, make sure that your address on file with the DMV is your correct mailing address because that is the address that the letter will be sent and you don't want to miss receiving that letter and in turn miss a court date and have a warrant issued for your arrest. Feel free to call with additional questions.
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman
I don't want to deprive anyone of business but I would not hire a lawyer myself unless he can get the DA not to file charges (called a pre-file) or untilI am actually charged.
The prosecuting agency (DA or CA) on a first time petty theft case (misdemeanor) has up to a year to file charges. Your attorney, whose waiting in the wings, should be pro-actively advocating on your behalf by contacting the DA or CA and trying to resolve the matter short of a criminal filing. It is much more difficult getting a case dismissed after youve been charged than getting a case to not be filed.
They have a year to file on a misdemeanor
Any answer to questions is not meant to be con screwed as legal advise and no attorney client relationship has formed. In order for an attorney to give legal advise, The attorney would need to have an opportunity to ask specific questions from a full and complete disclosure of the underlying facts involved in the question asked.