How long can police lock someone up without formal charges?

February 14, 2018



When someone is arrested, usually the first thing they want to know is when they're getting out of jail. Most of the time, people who are arrested can make bail and are released. But not everyone can and some people have charges so serious there's no bond at all. What happens to these people when the state doesn't file formal charges? The good news is that the State of Florida can't hold people in jail without formal charges forever. There is a deadline and it's provided in the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.


Rule 3.134 provides "Time for Filing Formal Charges." The state shall file formal charges by the 30th day of arresting a person. If, however, charges are not filed by the 30th day, then the court shall order the defendant released on the 33rd day unless charges are filed. The state can extend this time period by up to 40 days if good cause can be show, but that's not always so simple . So the answer to the question is that the police can lock an individual up without formal charge for usually up to 33 days, but potentially a max of 40.


Here's the rule:

Rule 3.134. Time for Filing Formal Charges

The state shall file formal charges on defendants in custody by information, or indictment, or in the case of alleged misdemeanors by whatever documents constitute a formal charge, within 30 days from the date on which the defendants are arrested or from the date of the service of capiases upon them. If the defendants remain uncharged, the court on the 30th day and with notice to the state shall:


(1) Order that the defendants automatically be released on their own recognizance on the 33rd day unless the state files formal charges by that date; or


(2) If good cause is shown by the state, order that the defendants automatically be released on their own recognizance on the 40th day unless the state files formal charges by that date.


In no event shall any defendants remain in custody beyond 40 days unless they have been formally charged with a crime.



If someone you love is in jail, call a criminal defense attorney right away to start preparing a defense and to look at all the ways to restore their freedom. Call 407-925-2949 for a free consultation today.


Please reload

Recent Posts

March 17, 2020

Please reload


Please reload





(407) 925-2949

(407) 442-3690


260 Maitland Avenue

Suite 200

Altamonte Springs, FL 32701