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

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?
10/16/2007   |   Category: Criminal   |   State: Kansas   |   #10360

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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