What Is a Pending Charge Legal

What Is a Pending Charge Legal?

When someone is accused of a crime, the legal process can be confusing and overwhelming. One term that often arises during this process is a “pending charge.” In legal terms, a pending charge refers to a criminal charge that has been filed against an individual but has not yet been resolved or adjudicated. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of what a pending charge entails and answer some frequently asked questions about this legal term.


1. What does it mean to have a pending charge?
Having a pending charge means that you have been accused of committing a crime, and legal proceedings are underway. Until the case is resolved, the charge remains pending.

2. How long can a charge stay pending?
The duration of a pending charge varies depending on the complexity of the case, court caseload, and other factors. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years for a case to be resolved.

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3. Can I travel with a pending charge?
While you can generally travel domestically with a pending charge, international travel might be restricted. It is best to consult with your attorney to determine any travel limitations.

4. Can a pending charge be dropped?
Yes, a pending charge can be dropped if the prosecution determines there is insufficient evidence to proceed or if the alleged victim recants their statement. However, only the prosecuting attorney has the authority to drop the charges.

5. Can I be arrested if I have a pending charge?
If you have a pending charge, you have already been arrested or cited. However, it is possible to be arrested again if you violate the conditions of your release or commit another offense.

6. Can a pending charge affect my employment?
Yes, a pending charge can have consequences for your employment. Some employers may choose to suspend or terminate employees with pending charges, especially if the alleged crime is related to their job responsibilities.

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7. Can I get a pending charge expunged from my record?
Expungement eligibility varies by jurisdiction. In some cases, if the charges are dropped or you are acquitted, you may be eligible to have the pending charge expunged from your record. Consulting with an attorney is essential to understand the expungement process in your jurisdiction.

8. Can I plea bargain with a pending charge?
Yes, plea bargaining is a common practice in criminal cases. You and your attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to potentially reduce the charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.

9. Can I be sentenced for a pending charge?
No, you cannot be sentenced for a pending charge. Sentencing occurs after a conviction or guilty plea. Until the case is resolved, you will remain in the pre-trial phase.

In conclusion, a pending charge is a legal term used to describe a criminal charge that has been filed against an individual but has not yet been resolved. It is crucial to understand the implications of a pending charge and seek legal counsel to navigate the complex legal process. Remember, each case is unique, and consulting with an attorney is essential to receive accurate advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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