How Long Can Someone Be Held in Jail Without Being Charged?

Someone can be held in jail for 33 days without being charged, according to Rule 3.134 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. It is important to note that the state actually only has 30 days to charge an arrestee with a crime. If it has not filed charges by that date, it must release the arrestee by the 33rd day.

If the state is holding your loved one past the 33rd day and has not filed charges, call Goldman Wetzel: 727-828-3900. We can fight for your loved one’s release.

Is There Any Reason the State Can Hold My Family Member for Longer Than 33 Days?

Yes. If the State Attorney can show good cause, the prosecution can keep your family member in jail until the 40th day. The state must release your loved one on that day if the State Attorney’s Office has not formally charged them with a crime.

Why Would the State Attorney Wait to File Charges?

Police can arrest someone based on information from victims or witnesses or other parties about a crime. For example, if your loved one was allegedly involved in a bar fight, law enforcement can arrest him even there is no concrete evidence he was the aggressor.

This can be problematic for the prosecution when it comes time to file charges. In many cases, the State Attorney’s Office waits to file charges because it cannot find the evidence necessary to file formal charges.

If your loved one has been under arrest for a few days or more and the State Attorney has not filed charges, the Goldman Wetzel team will intervene immediately, searching for evidence to persuade the State Attorney’s Office to forgo filing charges.

If your loved one has been in jail for at least 30 days and the prosecution cannot show good cause as to why he should be in jail any longer, we will ask the court to release him on his own recognizance.

My Loved One Already Went Before a Judge. Does that Mean the State Has Filed Charges?

Not necessarily. Florida law requires that arrestees must go before a judge within 24 hours of their arrest. At this appearance, the judge determines whether probable cause existed to arrest the person in question. This appearance determines whether the State Attorney’s Office is legally allowed to keep an arrestee in custody until it files charges.

What Is the State Attorney’s Procedure for Filing Charges?

The State Attorney reviews the police report and may interview the victim or witnesses, depending on the circumstances of the case. The prosecution may also review your loved one’s past criminal history or traffic record, if he has one. If the State Attorney can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your loved one committed a crime, the state prepares a formal charging document called an “Information” to submit to the court.

The State Attorney’s Office will also give your loved one an official notice of the charges.

What Can I Do If the State Will Not Release My Loved One?

We will aggressively pursue your loved one’s release based on Rule 3.134. If the state has not filed charges by the 30-day limit, we will ask the court to:

  • Order that your loved one automatically be released on his own recognizance on the 33rd day.
  • If the state shows good cause, order that your loved one automatically be released on his own recognizance on the 40th day unless the state files formal charges by that date.

Contact Goldman Wetzel About Your Loved One’s Arrest

If your loved one has been in jail for at least 30 days and has not been charged with a crime, call Goldman Wetzel today at 727-828-3900 to see how we can help you get your loved one released.