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 criminal charges for any offense, 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. You can go through DUI lawyer for further details.

statute of limitations felony
Statute of Limitations Felony

Statute of Limitations 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.