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How long does the DAs office have to prosecute a case before it is dismissed?

Bronx, NY |

I received a letter from the court stating that the DAs office is not ready to prosecute my desk appearance ticket at this time. I was instructed to contact their office if I have not heard from their office in at least 90 days. I called them after 90 days and was told they have not receive my case files from the arresting precinct. It has been six months since I was arrested. How long can this case be in limbo?

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Attorney answers 4


90 days for an A misdemeanor and 6 months for a felony. Wait until its over 6 months and then write to the DA's Office and request a Declined Prosecution letter. The case is dead.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


On a DAT the clock begins to run on the day after the first time you appeared in court NOT the day you received the DAT. The DA has 90 days on an A misdemeanor charge, 60 days on a B misdemeanor (or six months on a felony charge though it's unlikely you received a DAT on a felony).


It can be in limbo but you should call and ask for a no prosecution letter b/c their time is up.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


It depends on whether or not the Defendant has waived any of the "people's time". Defendant's are entitled to a speedy trial. However, in order to get the best plea deal from the prosecutor, often time s Defendant's and their attorneys will give consent to waive the speedy trial time in exchange for a plea to a lower offense. In your matter, you could make a motion to dismiss your case based on the lack of a speedy trial, depending on the level of your crime, (speedy trial time limits are governed by whether or not your case is a misdemeanor or felony), but be careful that you have not given your consent to adjourn the matter as this will not allow the speedy trial clock to begin ticking.

you should hire an attorney to obtain legal advice on whether or not there has been a violation of your rights to a speedy trial.