In Jail | Charges or Release | A Criminal Defense Lawyer |Attorney’s Perspective on the 72 Hour Rule.
Once a person is arrested, taken to jail and has the probable cause to arrest them reviewed by an independent judge within 48 hours, the local prosecuting attorney’s office must decide whether they want to file a criminal charge.
Unless a prosecuting attorney decides to file charges, you or a loved one are only being held in jail because the police officer and judge found probable cause to arrest you. In order to hold you for longer than 72 hours (not including weekends or holidays), the prosecuting attorney’s office must file criminal charges. They have up to 72 hours to file charges on people detained in jail by the police | judge, or a person must be released. If 48 hours have elapsed, this means the prosecuting attorney’s offices only has another 24 hours to do so (However, keep in mind computation of the 72-hour period shall not include any part of Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays). If they do not file what criminal defense lawyers | attorneys in the business call “rush” charges, you will be released; HOWEVER, know that a prosecuting attorney can subsequently still file criminal charges and either (1) mail them to you, or (2) ask a court to issue a warrant. You will notice when the jail releases you, they make sure they have a current address. This is important as if you miss your arraignment, they will issue a warrant.
“Unless an information or indictment is filed or the affected person consents in writing or on the record in open court, an accused shall not be detained in jail or subjected to conditions of release for more than 72 hours after the defendant’s detention in jail or release on conditions, whichever occurs first. Computation of the 72 hour period shall not include any part of Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. CrR 3.2.1(f)(1), CrRLJ3.2.1(f)(1).
When clients are being held on a felony investigation, this charging decision will be announced in open court the day after the 48 hour probable cause hearing. Our office will generally try to find out whether someone is on this calendar an hour or so in advance when the docket becomes available; but, sometimes this information is not available until court.
The criminal defense lawyers | attorneys in our office have handled an enormous number of complicated cases in the criminal arena over the course of our lengthy criminal law careers. We are a unique blend of courtroom experience, knowledge, skills and temperament. Our lawyers know criminal cases are rarely as simple as the police reports claim and our clients hire us because they want staunch and effective counsel who takes the time to make sure their rights are protected. Whether our role is as legal counsel, negotiator, or litigator, we have years of experience fighting and resolving cases with our clients’ best interests in mind.