Due to a missed deadline at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO), approximately 200 criminal charges in the county have been withdrawn. Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone claims it won’t happen again.
Phoenix attorneys say this is a big deal because there are victims who won’t get the resolution the justice system is supposed to provide.
Tom Moring with the Jawburg Wilk Law Firm, said, “These cases languished for a year, and now they’re all gone and that’s a serious situation.”
An investigation revealed that prosecutors forgot to file charges by the deadline. As a result, the county attorney’s office was forced to drop 180 misdemeanor cases, which included drunk driving and domestic assault cases.
MCAO released a statement saying, “The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office failed to review roughly 180 misdemeanor cases from 2020 prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The Office took steps to notify law enforcement agencies and victims of this error. The Office has also redirected resources to ensure this error does not occur in the future.”
Moring said, “Here you have 180 people who have been arrested, investigated and yet nothing is going to ever come of it. Not for them, not for the people who were victims of these crimes. It’s tragic.”