Is there a time frame for formal charges to be filed after an arrest?

10/16/2007 - Criminal - State: KS #10360

Full Question:

My 19 year old son was arrested for taking a pickup truck. He turned himself in and was arrested for Criminal Defamation of Property. We paid the bail and he was released; however, we cannot find out the formal charges against him so we know whether or not to hire an attorney. I tried to make an appointment with the County Attorney to discuss the charges, but was told she had not had time to review the case and was not sure when she would have time. It has been over a week since his arrest. Is it legal procedure to arrest someone, have them spend one week in jail, be released on bail, and still not know what the formal charges are? We were under the impression that charges had to be made within 72 hours of the arrest. Is there a time limit on the County Attorney to state the formal charges on an individual?

Answer:

The following are KS statutes, which refer to the time period in terms of "unnecessary delay":

22-2901. Appearance before the magistrate.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (7), when an arrest is made in the county where the crime charged is alleged to have been committed, the person arrested shall be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate of the court from which the warrant was issued. If the arrest has been made on probable cause, without a warrant, he shall be taken without unnecessary delay before the nearest available magistrate and a complaint shall be filed forthwith.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (7), when an arrest is made in a county other than where the crime charged is alleged to have been committed, the person arrested may be taken directly to the county wherein the crime is alleged to have been committed without unnecessary delay or at the request of the defendant he shall be taken without unnecessary delay before the nearest available magistrate. Such magistrate shall ascertain the nature of the crime charged in the warrant and the amount of the bond, if any, endorsed on the warrant. If no warrant for the arrest of the person is before the magistrate he shall make use of telephonic, telegraphic or radio communication to ascertain the nature of the charge and the substance of any warrant that has been issued. If no warrant has been issued, a complaint shall be filed and a warrant issued in the county where the crime is alleged to have been committed, and the nature of the charge, the substance of the warrant, and the amount of the bond shall be communicated to the magistrate before whom the defendant is in custody. Upon receipt of such information, the magistrate shall proceed as hereinafter provided.
(3) The magistrate shall fix the terms and conditions of the appearance bond upon which the defendant may be released. If the first appearance is before a magistrate in a county other than where the crime is alleged to have been committed, the magistrate may release the defendant on an appearance bond in an amount not less than that endorsed on the warrant. The defendant shall be required to appear before the magistrate who issued the warrant or a magistrate of a court having jurisdiction on a day certain, not more than 10 days thereafter.
(4) If the defendant is released on an appearance bond to appear before the magistrate in another county, the magistrate who accepts the appearance bond shall forthwith transmit such appearance bond and all other papers relating to the case to the magistrate before whom the defendant is to appear.
(5) If the person arrested cannot provide an appearance bond, or if the crime is not bailable, the magistrate shall commit him to jail pending further proceedings or shall order him delivered to a law enforcement officer of the county where the crime is alleged to have been committed.
(6) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person who is arrested on a bench warrant. Such persons shall without unnecessary delay be taken before the magistrate who issued the bench warrant.
(7) If a person is arrested on a warrant or arrested on probable cause without a warrant, pursuant to a violation of subsection (a)(1)(C) of K.S.A. 21-3721, and amendments thereto, such person shall not be allowed to post bond pending such person's first appearance in court provided that a first appearance occurs within 48 hours after arrest. The magistrate may fix as a condition of release on the appearance bond that such person report to a court services officer. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be an unnecessary delay as such term is used in this section.

History: L. 1970, ch. 129, § 22-2901; L. 1996, ch. 211, § 3; July 1.

22-3201. The charge; delayed identification of certain witnesses.

(a) Prosecutions in the district court shall be upon complaint, indictment or information.
(b) The complaint, information or indictment shall be a plain and concise written statement of the essential facts constituting the crime charged, which complaint, information or indictment, drawn in the language of the statute, shall be deemed sufficient. The precise time of the commission of an offense need not be stated in the indictment or information; but it is sufficient if shown to have been within the statute of limitations, except where the time is an indispensable ingredient in the offense. An indictment shall be signed by the presiding juror of the grand jury. An information shall be signed by the county attorney, the attorney general or any legally appointed assistant or deputy of either. A complaint shall be signed by some person with knowledge of the facts. Allegations made in one count may be incorporated by reference in another count. The complaint, information or indictment shall state for each count the official or customary citation of the statute, rule and regulation or other provision of law which the defendant is alleged to have violated. Error in the citation or its omission shall be not ground for dismissal of the complaint, information or indictment or for reversal of a conviction if the error or omission did not prejudice the defendant.
(c) When relevant, the complaint, information or indictment shall also allege facts sufficient to constitute a crime or specific crime subcategory in the crime seriousness scale.
(d) The court may strike surplusage from the complaint, information or indictment.
(e) The court may permit a complaint or information to be amended at any time before verdict or finding if no additional or different crime is charged and if substantial rights of the defendant are not prejudiced.
(f) When a complaint, information or indictment charges a crime but fails to specify the particulars of the crime sufficiently to enable the defendant to prepare a defense the court may, on written motion of the defendant, require the prosecuting attorney to furnish the defendant with a bill of particulars. At the trial the state's evidence shall be confined to the particulars of the bill.
(g) Except as otherwise provided, the prosecuting attorney shall endorse the names of all witnesses known to the prosecuting attorney upon the complaint, information and indictment at the time of filing it. Except as otherwise provided, the prosecuting attorney may endorse on it the names of other witnesses that may afterward become known to the prosecuting attorney, at times that the court may by rule or otherwise prescribe. If any witness is to testify and the prosecuting attorney believes the witness who has provided information is in danger of intimidation or retaliation, the prosecuting attorney may delay identifying such informant witness until such informant witness actually testifies but in no event shall identification of a witness be delayed beyond arraignment without further order of the court after hearing and an opportunity of the defendant to be heard.


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10/16/2007 - Category: Criminal - State: KS #10360

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