A statute of limitations places a time limit on when a prosecutor can file criminal charges. If someone is charged for a crime that the statute of limitations has passed on, they can file to have their charges dismissed. When a crime is more severe, the statute is generally longer. Some crimes have no statute of limitations and can, therefore, be charged at any time. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to ensure the evidence for a case is reliable. The more time that has passed, the less likely evidence and memory can be counted on.
The run time on any given statute of limitations starts when the crime or alleged crime takes place. In some cases, it begins when the crime is discovered.
There are cases when a statute of limitations may be paused. For example, they can be tolled by the government to allow more time to bring a case against someone. This may apply if the person who is accused of the crime has been out of state or is unable to be found.
Civil cases also have time frames they must be filed in. This may be for workers’ compensation, personal injury, medical malpractice, car accidents, and other civil claims. Their statue is anywhere from a year to a decade. Instead of the prosecutor or the government filing the case, the person who was harmed must file the claim within that period.
Offenses with no statute of limitations, meaning they can be filed at any time, include:
The only criminal offense with an eight-year statute of limitations is terrorism that is nonviolent and would not have caused death or injury.
Offenses with a five-year statute of limitations include:
Environmental conversation crimes have a statute of limitations of four years from the discovery of the crime. Tax code misdemeanors have a statute of three years.
Class A and Class B misdemeanors have a two-year statute of limitations. These crimes include graffiti, petty theft, assault in the third degree, intentional lewdness, stalking in the fourth degree, and repeated harassment.
Petty offenses have a one-year statute and include crimes like minor traffic violations, harassment, and disorderly conduct. A breach of fiduciary duty via larceny also has a one-year statute, and it begins when it is discovered.
Some periods don’t count toward the accumulation of a statute’s time. When the state determines if the statute still applies to a crime, it will not include:
No more than five years can be added to the statute if these reasons are the case. Additionally, if the prosecution charges a person within the time frame of the statute of limitations and that charge is dismissed and another charge is initiated for the same crime or conduct, then the time from prosecution to dismissal will not be counted in the statute. This may alter the statute beyond what a person accused of a crime may expect, and an experienced defense attorney can help determine if time was added to your statute of limitations.
A: Certain offenses have a short statute of limitations, such as petty offenses. This includes minor traffic infractions like speeding or passing a stop sign. They also include minor penal law violations like disorderly conduct and harassment. A one-year statute of limitations also applies to a breach of fiduciary duty by theft. This runtime begins when the theft is discovered or should have been discovered.
A: Class A1 felonies do not have a statute of limitations. This means the person who committed or allegedly committed the crimes can be prosecuted at any time. A1 felonies include murder, kidnapping, arson, terrorism, conspiracy, and drug trafficking. Rape also has no statute of limitations, along with sexual abuse or conduct toward a minor.
A: There are some crimes with no limitations, but the longest statute of limitations in New York is the crime of nonviolent terrorism, where there was no risk of death or severe injury. The statute is eight years.
A: A majority of crimes fall under the five-year statute of limitations. Most felonies have five-year limitations, while most misdemeanors have two-year limitations. Some offenses have special circumstances and specific codes that extend the statute limitations, and some offenses have no statute. Petty offenses have only a one-year statute of limitations applied to them.
If you have been accused or arrested for a crime, it is essential that you get the assistance of a legal professional from The Vitaliano Law Firm. We provide judgment-free and individualized legal advice. We also have experience with the prosecution side of a case, so we can better tailor your defense. We strive to create a defense that is comprehensive and covers your needs.
If your charge is outside the statute of limitations, we can file to get it dismissed. We want to lessen the impact of your charges on your life and future. Contact The Vitaliano Law Firm today.