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GaryLee

AZ Class 1 Misdemeanor time limitations to prosecute

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Gary Lee, Mohave County, AZ, Defendant, Bench Trial

I've found that ARS statute for misdemeanor time to prosecute is 1 year after discoovery. The plaintiff continually has problems getting witnesses to comply with subpeonas and is filing 3rd continuance due to witness unavailability. What other rules or statutes apply to dismiss because of witness failure to comply and or appear?

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The statute of limitations regarding the time limit to initate prosecution deals ONLY with how long the state has to file criminal charges. It has no application beyond that. What you are talking about is the right to a speedy trial which are governed by section 8 of the AZ rules of criminal procedure. If the witness/es were properly subpoenaed, their failure to show can easily constitute good cause for a continuance.

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Gary Lee, Mohave County, AZ, Defendant, Bench Trial

I've found that ARS statute for misdemeanor time to prosecute is 1 year after discoovery. The plaintiff continually has problems getting witnesses to comply with subpeonas and is filing 3rd continuance due to witness unavailability. What other rules or statutes apply to dismiss because of witness failure to comply and or appear?

The statute of limitations sets the time in which the charging document (complaint or indictment) must be filed. Once that's done within the allowed time, the statute of limitations is no longer an issue. Instead, the issue becomes a speedy trial problem. I assume by “plaintiff” you mean the state; plaintiff is term typically used with civil litigation rather than criminal prosecution. Unavailability of witnesses typically will allow for a continuance, but the state won’t be able to get continuances ad infinitum. You’d need to research the state’s case law on speedy trial rights to determine how many opportunities the state may get. If you object to a continuance, you may need to lodge that objection at the time the state makes the request for it and in that case you’d need to be ready with the law that supports denying the continuance.

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