VIC Time Limit for Police to Lay Charges?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


17 July 2014
Victoria Police have accused me of theft.
The complaint was made to them in February 2013.
I first heard about it and was interviewed in November 2013.
Eight months later the investigation is still ongoing with no charges laid..

How long can the police pursue this without laying charges?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Sierra,

In Victoria, the police has 12 months to commence proceedings (ie. file a charge sheet in the Magistrates' Court) for summary offences: Criminal Procedure Act (Vic) 2009 s 7(1).

Crimes that are listed in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) are deemed indictable offences (ie. not summary offences) and do not have a time limit on when it can be brought against someone: Criminal Procedure Act s 7(2). Theft is listed as one of such crimes: Division 2, s 74. This means that there is no time limit on when the police can bring this charge and initiate proceedings before court. The police may decide to hear this charge summarily: Criminal Procedure Act s 28 and Schedule 2. However, even if heard summarily, the 12 month time limit for summary offences would not apply. In short, there is no time limit.
  • Like
Reactions: Owens Lawyers