How long can someone be held in jail without a charge?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | Criminal defense |

If you find yourself under arrest in Georgia, you might wonder how long they can hold you without filing charges. The right to a speedy trial plays a factor in this determination as it is a crucial part of the criminal justice process.

There are several factors to consider when it comes to how long they can hold you pending charges.

Constitutional safeguards

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial, ensuring that individuals are not held in jail for extended periods without formal charges.

The 90-day rule

Georgia also has a provision under Section 17-7-50 that requires a grand jury hearing for arrested defendants without bail who spend more than 90 days in jail awaiting further proceedings.

Your initial detention

When the police arrest you, that starts the initial detention period. This period allows law enforcement to assess evidence and decide if they will proceed with formal charges. Officers have 48 hours to make that determination and file charges or release you.

Magistrate proceedings

If the police fail to file charges within 48 hours, you might appear before a magistrate court judge. This appearance provides an opportunity for the judge to assess the case and identify any probable cause to hold you beyond that 48-hour window.

FBI reporting shows more than 10 million arrests nationwide in 2019. Navigating law enforcement detention without charges in Georgia requires you to understand the fundamentals of your rights and the procedural safeguards available. Advocate for your right to a speedy trial and protect yourself from unlawful prolonged detention with this information.