How Long After Crime Can You Be Charged (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 72 hours

The world has seen more criminal cases than it has seen the rising sun in the morning. Even the very first page of a newspaper is full of dreadful cases and accidents. News channels on the television telecast cases related mostly to rapes, thefts, kidnapping, and murders. Even the brightest hours of a day are not safe anymore.

To keep track of the crimes and take actions against them, police and court members work abiding by a set of rules. It should be filed 48 to 72 hours after the crime when the criminal is in custody.

How Long After Crime Can You Be Charged

How Long After Crime Can You Be Charged?

Minor crimes72 hours
Major crimes24 hours

Preventive measures have been taken to stop or avoid crimes but the criminals always dig a hole out for them. The justice system tries to be hard and hostile every time. However, crimes keep jumping up every time in some or another way. It has been nearly impossible to predict and shut down the crimes, but at the least, once the crime is done, justice to get served is a way out and for that, holding the culprit at guilt and taking action against the criminal is very essential.

So, charging a report is a very important part when initiating a justice process. The culprit is taken into custody and is served with multiple rounds of interrogation. There are specialists appointed for the same and other related staff take care of the formalities attached. Interrogation cells are used for the period and the culprit is charged for his/her crime or sin. The one at fault is given multiple chances to admit the guilt if done and accept the system’s decision afterward. The data collected from the interrogation round is matched with the crime facts to analyze the situation perfectly.


Doing this makes the crime case transparent and justice serving becomes a lot easier. Higher-level actions are taken in case of any malfunction done by the one at fault. A charge sheet further acts as proof to cross-check the initial actions of the system. This is helpful as it maintains a proper balance between the advocates from the court and the police department.

Why Can You Be Charged So Long After Crime ?

A case may get dropped when no concrete proof is found or the allegations turn out to be false. But in either of the cases, a charge sheet is always filed 48 to 72 hours after the culprit is taken into custody. Within not more than 48 hours, the criminal is taken to the court for further case study and interrogation with proof and witnesses. It is very important to file the charge within 48 to 72 hours because the more the delay, the better the chances for the culprit to cook new escape plans. It’s well said that “Justice served late is justice never served.”

The more time the culprit gets to rest in comfort, the more manipulation can be done by his/her allies. The time gap between being charged and getting prosecuted is never certain. The period fluctuates as per the gravity of the given case. No one can determine it just like that. Solving a case is never a cakewalk. The system workers put their life on the line to serve justice. Things like a charge sheet, case report, and interrogation file help the in-charge officers to solve it for the right outcome. Summoning the criminal in custody in the court with a charge sheet is a part of the algorithm the system follows to keep everything in an apt order.


This is why filing a charge is very vital to grab the genuine crime doer serve justice to the victim involved directly or indirectly. Also, filing a charge sheet is never limited to the primary crime doer, everybody in the crime chain is equally responsible for it and the department may hold all of them at fault if the evidence is found.


Getting the culprit charged within 48 to 72 hours is a vital part of the algorithm and it’s evident why. Better and precise the methods to serve the justice, better will be the accuracy of a decision at last. The charge filed against the culprit initiates justice and is the very first thing in the recording chain. Even advocates concerned with a given case take a keen look at the charge sheet filed by the police department.

Sometimes, the sheet is presented in the court too for inquiries. It’s always been this way in the judicial system. That’s why following the algorithm is always a decent decision taken for the greater good.


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