Statute of Limitations Felony is the extended time limit for filing legal charges against the accused. The statute of limitations for felonies in the USA restricts the government’s capability of filing  charges for any criminal defense, once 5 years have passed since the event of a crime. The American statute of limitations is mentioned in 18 US Code 3282. According to the statement declared by the felony statute of limitations , except for any special cases under the jurisdiction of the country’s law, no person can be tried, prosecuted, or punished for committing any offense after five years period since the crime was originally committed.  However, such a statute is generally not functional in cases of capital crimes like rape, murder, etc. 

statute of limitations felony
Statute of Limitations Felony

Statute of Limitations Felony: Brief Description

Everything you must know about the statute of limitations felony.

A felony is defined as any criminal offense that leads to a sentence of one year or more in jail. They are usually violent crimes that are regarded as damaging or dangerous to society. Some of the most serious forms of crimes that a person can conduct are felony crimes, such as first-degree murder and arson. Misdemeanors and citations are the most common categories for crimes that do not rise to the level of a felony.

What Are the Differences Between Felonies and Misdemeanors?

Before you get to know the statute of limitations felony, it’s crucial to understand what makes a felony different. A felony and a minor violation differ primarily in two ways. The first is that felony crimes are often more serious than minor offenses.

Felonies frequently involve a violent act

The second distinction is the type of punishment that can be imposed on a convicted person. Because felony offenses are considered more serious than misdemeanor charges, their penalties are also more severe.

  • If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor, they may be required to pay fines and serve a maximum of one year in jail.
  • A felony conviction, on the other hand, might result in a jail sentence of at least one year or more, as well as higher fines than a misdemeanor conviction.
  • Furthermore, a person may be given a “wobbler,” which is a third possibility. A wobbler is a crime that falls in between a misdemeanor and a felony.
  • Whether a person is convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the circumstances of the case.
  • In general, if the offense is non-violent in nature and the offender did not do any harm to others, the court may elect to impose a term that is more akin to a misdemeanor.
  • If, on the other hand, the crime is serious, the accused is a repeat offender, and they injure someone while committing the crime, the wobbler is more likely to result in a sentence similar to that of a felony offense.

What Are the Different Types of Felonies?

To understand the statute of limitations for felony you must know the different types of felonies. Felony offenses are classed according to the severity of the crime. Each state has its own statute that specifies how a specific felony offense should be classified in that jurisdiction.

  • For example, first-degree murder may be classified as a Class A or Class 1 felony in several states.
  • These tiers are intended for the most serious sorts of transgressions and crimes that carry the most severe penalties.
  • The remaining categories will be completed in a systematic manner (e.g., Class B or Class 2, Class C or Class 3, and so on). The most important thing to understand about degrees is that they play a role in determining the punishment of a guilty offender.
  • The seriousness of the crimes decreases as one moves away from the Class A or Class 1 levels. A defendant convicted of a Class E felony, for example, will face a significantly less sentence and will have committed a less serious crime than someone convicted of a Class A felony.

To know more about the statute of limitations felony, continue reading below.

Statute of Limitations for Felony

Statute of Limitations for Felony

Statute of Limitations for Felony : Main purpose

The felony statute of limitations’ main purpose is to help the defendants defend themselves from charges against misdemeanors that occurred long ago. Why is it so? How does the statute of limitation help the defendants?

  • Sometimes, people come up with charges against several incidents that occurred so much far in time that it might make it impossible for the defendant to defend himself properly. 
  • Depending upon the age of the crime, proper evidence might no longer be available. As a result, it gets harder for the accused to prove his innocence. This is definitely a violation of the defendant’s rights.
  • To use the statute of limitations defense successfully, the defendant must necessarily show that the criminal complaint has been filed after the set 5 years period.

Statute of Limitations Examples – Variation of laws

Such laws can be varied, and often, they are complex ones. 

  • Some American states have a different approach to judging felonies. For some of the states, each type of offense comes with a different statute of limitation. Therefore, you should stay aware of the specific requirements of your state’s legal criteria. 
  • Remember, that some of the states don’t have any proper criminal statutes of limitations in practice at all.
  • Tolling of the statute of limitations is relevant under certain circumstances. When an accused person goes into hiding, the statute of limitations felony is not applied in many states.
Statute of Limitations by State
Statute of Limitations by State

Statute of Limitations by State : Its limitation in different states

Here are some of the statute of limitations examples states wise in the US and their respective statute of limitation rules for felonies:

  1. Arizona: 7 years for felonies; there isn’t any statute of limitations for people accused of committing capital offenses.
  2. Alabama: Felonies: 3 years. The capital offense doesn’t come with the statute of limitations.
  3. Arkansas: 6 years for Class A or Y felony; 3 years for other felonies. People accused of murder or rape cases aren’t eligible for the statute of limitations.
  4. Alaska: Felonies: 10 years. Defendants of murder, attempted murder, felony sexual abuse, kidnapping, and similar crimes don’t enjoy the statute of limitations.
  5. Colorado: Felonies: 3 years. 10 years for people accused of capital offenses such as murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, treason, forgery, sexual assault, etc. 

We hope that you are now well aware of the several aspects of the statute of limitations felony. Our article was aimed towards educating the unaware public about criminal defense rights in the form of this statute. It’s important that you understand your legal position and also contact a lawyer for further clarification in details. In case, you need to discuss something more, consider contacting us right away at Online attorney.