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When Should You File Formal Charges?


We know when a person is arrested, they have a first appearance where a monetary bond typically is set. But what happens if that person can’t post that bond? How long can the State hold a person before they file formal charges?

When a State files formal charges they do so with a document referred to as information or indictment in some cases. In the information, they list the offense, the Florida statute, date, and county. When a person is in custody the State is to file formal charges within 30 days from the date of the defendant’s arrest. If the defendant remains uncharged by day 33 then they are to be released on their own recognizance (ROR) unless the State file formal charges on that day or the State request a 7-day extension and is able to provide good cause for the delay in filing legal charges. Learn more about how to proceed in your legal case from the Florida criminal defense attorneys at Meldon Law.

How Can You File Legal Charges in Florida?

A motion can be filed on the defendant’s behalf requesting that he be released based on the State’s failure to file formal charges, this motion is separate and apart from a motion to set or reduce bond. The State can and most likely will oppose the motion and will attempt to show good cause, which has been defined by the Florida Supreme Court as a substantial reason, one that affords a legal excuse, one that is not arbitrary. If the State is unable to show good cause then the defendant will be released, if the Judge determines that good cause exists, the State will be given up to the 40th day to file an information charging the defendant. However, in no event shall a person be held in custody for more than 40 days, meaning that if no formal charges are filed by the 40th day then the defendant will be released from custody on his own recognizance.

When a person is incarcerated it is important that they know and understand the rules of criminal procedures that are set in place to protect them. The Florida defense attorneys at Meldon Law have the knowledge and experience to help assist, guide, and defend you.

How a Florida Defense Attorney Can Help?

If you, a family member, or friend has been arrested it is important to speak with an attorney that is not only knowledgeable regarding the law, but also in the options that you may have and the options that each individual county offers. Contact Meldon Law at to make an appointment to speak with an attorney for a free consultation.

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