Criminal Defense & DUI Attorney in Mesa, AZ
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My Case Has Been Scratched- What Does that Mean?

My Case Has Been Scratched- What Does that Mean?

“Scratched” is not a legal term; however, it is used by the Courts to describe when a charge has not been filed by the County Attorney’s Office.

After someone has been arrested, the County Attorney’s Office reviews the file and has 48 hours to file a complaint (formal charges) after the Initial Appearance. The charges are “scratched” if no complaint has been filed with the Court.

For most felonies, the County Attorney’s Office has seven years from the date of violation to file charges. However, they do not normally take the full seven years. If a complaint has been filed with the Court, a summons may be sent to the address on file mostly likely via certified mail or an arrest warrant may be issued. There is no way of knowing if or when charges will be filed and if a summons or arrest warrant will be issued. It is important to update your address if you move. You can do so online at and completing an Update Name/Address form. You should also call the Charging Bureau at the County Attorney’s Office at 602-372-7350 to update your address.

It is possible to have an attorney advocate your side of the story before the prosecutor decides to file your case. If you have been charged with a felony that has been scratched, contact us at 480.889.8909 for your free consultation.


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