Does the Missouri criminal statute of limitation legally apply? 1 Answers as of December 02, 2010

The question I have is over the Missouri criminal statute of limitations and the accused being "absent from the state." Missouri statute section 556.036.6(1). Which reads as follows: "The period of limitation does not run during anytime the accused is absent from the state, but in no case shall this provision extend the period of limitation otherwise applicable by more than three years." What would make the accused be considered "absent from the state" under Missouri law? Example: A person commits a crime in Missouri and resides in Missouri but works in Kansas for 8 hours a day. And everyday after work the person comes back home to Missouri. Would Missouri courts consider this person "absent from the state" of Missouri when they go to Kansas to work and would the period stop running?

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
I doubt it would toll the statue. This is because most criminal defendants
are mailed a "summons" for minor crimes and the summons is always mailed to their home (the address registered with DOR). So where you live is more important than where you work.

But statutes of limitations are often understood. They only govern the amount of time the prosecutor has to file charges. Once charges are filed, the case will remain pending (and the defendant will remain warrant) until defendant appears in court and begins addressing the case.

So in other words, if you have a 1-year misdemeanor statute of limitations, and the prosecutor does not file any charges (shown on as an "information" or "indictment") within that year, they will be barred from filing charges later.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 12/2/2010
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