ANSWERS: 2
  • There is no time limit; however, I suspect you perceive "pressing charges" as something that it is not. With the exception of a citizens arrest, you cannot bring charges against a person. A person is charged by the government. When you "press charges," all you are doing is urging the government to take action against a person. It is common parlance for an officer to ask "do you want to press charges." All this means is that the cop has enough to make a legal arrest so long as you cooperate. What the cop is actually doing is allowing you to give input into the discretionary function of choosing to arrest. But it should be noted that "pressing charges" is meaningless under the law. You can tell a cop that you don't want to press charges, and the cop may still decide to arrest. You can tell a cop that you do want to press charges, and the cop may still not arrest. So the answer is that you can press charges (i.e. urge an arrest) at anytime, but the decision to arrest is still completely up to the discretion of the officer (or prosecuter).
  • The sooner the better. Some crimes have a statute of limitations.

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