Have You Reached Statute of Limitations? Get a Lawyer to Defend You

Statute of Limitations

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is a time limit for filing a criminal case. If you have to file a criminal charge against someone, ensure that you have not exceeded the statute of limitations. If you face a criminal charge, determine whether it has gone beyond the most current statute.

In the U.S., most federal crimes have a statute of five years, recorded under Code 18 Section 3282. Each of the 50 states has its own statute of limitations. As with most aspects of the law, a statute has gray areas and nuance.

Some states do not have a statute of limitations. Others have ones that only apply to particular crimes. Particularly for felonies, many states have different tiers of felonious crimes. Each tier comes with its own statute.

As laws vary by jurisdiction and severity of the crime and have many other nuances, consult a lawyer to understand the correct  definition.

Should You Hire a Lawyer?

There is no specific lawyer for the statute of limitations because an understanding of the statute falls under the domain of criminal law. Ensure that your lawyer is well-versed in the statute of limitations. By referencing the statute, she or he can dismiss a criminal charge against you.

What Can Happen With A Criminal Charge?

If you receive a criminal offense charge, you may experience several outcomes:

Settling Outside Court

Both parties should work out a settlement before litigation, mainly to avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings. As a result, settling out of court is the best way to avoid these strenuous court proceedings. The defendant must offer a settlement that suits the plaintiff.

If an agreement happens, then the case settles. If the two parties cannot agree on a settlement, a court case ensues. Settling out of court is not always an option, and you should ask your lawyer if this is a possibility.

Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiff

If the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, then a jury or judge decides the financial award or damages awarded. Many factors determine final compensation, such as the severity of the crime, the scope of the damage and if the plaintiff needs any medication treatment. In serious cases, imprisonment may become an option in addition to paying damages.

Court Rules in Favor of Defendant

If the court rules in favor of the defense, the lawsuit ends. This is where the defendant benefits from the statute of limitations. If all goes well, the statute may dismiss the case altogether.

Are Statutes of Limitations Always a Defense?

This is a question that puzzles most of us: Do statute of limitations always last? Does the law ever disregard these statutes? There is a process known as “tolling” a statute of limitations. This means the statute temporarily pauses for a specific case. Often, it occurs if the person accused of a criminal offense goes into hiding and tries to evade the law.

When Does the Statute of Limitations Not Apply?

The statute of limitations, of course, does not apply to all criminal charges; there are exceptions. Generally, murder does not have a time limit to file. Additionally, other violent crimes including sexual crimes, particularly against minors, do not have a statute at all. In certain states, if a crime involves the use (or misuse) of public funds, there is no statute of limitations.

In many other states, this depends on the severity of the crime, particularly if it is classified as a felony. Many other circumstances relating to the crime can also affect the statute of limitations. A lawyer can understand and study the nuances of the statute of limitations to a particular crime.

What About a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Criminal Charge?

If you wish to file a criminal charge against someone, you may also worry about the statute of limitations. Again, the statute depends on the severity of the crime, the class of crime and a particular jurisdiction’s laws.

If you are the victim of a past crime, you may worry if the statute of limitations dismisses your chances of filing a charge. Gather the details of the crime and explain it to your lawyer. Your legal advocate needs the details to determine crime severity, to determine the class of the crime.

You must also let your legal professional know in which state the crime took place. Your lawyer can study the law of the specified state regarding the statutes. She or he can determine whether moving forward with a criminal charge makes sense. Legal advocates can also find loopholes where if there is a statute of limitations, they can toll it because of the circumstances of the crime, the severity or any additional circumstances that may warrant a suspension of the statute.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer

Use your jurisdiction’s statute of limitations as protection against severe criminal charges. If you connect with an experienced local lawyer, then she or he can protect your rights or figure out if you can file a criminal charge.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

We've connected over FIVE MILLION requests since 2001

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.

Secured & Trusted

technolawyer