How long can the police keep a criminal investigation open? 34 Answers as of June 11, 2013

How long can the police keep a criminal investigation open for in Texas?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
They can keep it open depending on the type of charge.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/8/2011
Levine & McHenry LLC
Levine & McHenry LLC | Matthew McHenry
There is no limit on how long an investigation can be kept open.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/21/2011
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
You would need to contact a Texas police officer or longer. However, I would imagine that such a decision is up to the department and they can keep the investigation open as long as they want to. There are cases where investigations have been open for years and even decades.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/20/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I am not admitted to practice law in Texas. However in Ny the prosecution has statutes of limitations time periods in which to file charges that are different for different crimes- so an investigation could be open the entire time of the statutory period and then the prosecution can file charges within that time.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/17/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
Depends on the charge. Certain cases with no statute of limitations can be kept open forever.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 10/17/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    I can't comment on Texas law, but in NYS there is no statute of limitations for murder. The statute of limitations for misdemeanors is two years, for felonies, 5 years.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/14/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Police can investigate case as long as they want. The statute of limitations will run on most crimes with the exception of murder.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 10/14/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    To keep an investigation open there is no limit that I know of; but they usually only worry about old homicide cases.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Russman Law
    Russman Law | Ryan Russman
    You will have to consult with a lawyer admitted to practice in Texas.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Lifetime.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    There is no time limit for the police to investigate an offense. There may be limits on which charges could be filed though.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    As long as the stature of limitations would allow. You would have to consult the Texas statutes for this answer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Wouldn't this question be betterput toa Texas lawyer?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    Presumably the rule in Texas is the same as the rule in New York. The State has until the statute of limitations has run to make an arrest.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The investigation may remain open, but the police have to worry about a five year statute of limitations for most crimes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/13/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    That would depend on the statute of limitations on the crime that is the source of the investigation. On murder the case will not be closed until someone is charged and convicted of the crime.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You would have to check with a Texas criminal lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    In Illinois, charges must be filed in a misdemeanor within 18 months, for a felony 3 years. Some other serious cases have unlimited statute of limitations. I have no idea about the limitation period in Texas.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    A criminal investigation does not have time limit. The statute of limitations determines how long the prosecutor has to file a charge after a crime is committed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    I am not licensed to practice in Texas, so I am not real familiar with the criminal code. Generally, the more severe the crime (felony vs. non felony), the longer the police can keep an investigation open.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    Until the statute of limitations runs.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    The only time limitation is the applicable Statute of Limitations. Limitation periods will differ from state to state and will differ for different crimes
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Depends what it is for. Usually 2 years, unless it's unsolved homicide or sexual abuse or something like that. Happens all the time where they close a cold file 30 years afterwards.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    bark & karpf
    bark & karpf | peter bark
    In some cases forever. There are instances where a murder case has been solved 40 years after the crime. It depends on the Statute of Limitations for the particular crime. Murder and certain sex offenses have no Statute of Limitations. Most felonies have a five year limit.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    No idea - I am licensed in NJ & PA and have no clue as to what the law is in Texas.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Sifuentes & Locke
    Sifuentes & Locke | Shannon Willis Locke
    The answer to this question depends on the kind of crime with which you are concerned. The more serious the crime, the longer the Statute of Limitations. This means that the State has until the Statute of Limitations expires to investigate and file formal charges. So, if the crime is a misdemeanor, the Statute of Limitations is usually two years. If the crime is a felony, the Statute of Limitations is usually five years. However, some financial crimes have different Statutes of Limitations, and sexual assaults can also have different Statutes of Limitations. Additionally, different factors can prevent the Statute of Limitations from running or starting. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation. If you are worried you may be implicated in a crime, call a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    There is no limit on when an investigation must end but when the statute of limitations runs out, there is no point in further investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law
    Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law | Theresa Hofmeister
    Many felonies in California have a 3 year statute of limitation but some, such as murder have no statute of limitations. I think the short answer is police can keep investigations open as long as they like, but there would be probably "no point" if the case can no longer be prosecuted; their resources would be better spent elsewhere. So generally the files that would stay open for a long period of time (or are closed and then later reopen the "cold cases") would be murder or something very serious with a longer (or no) statute of limitation on prosecution. Hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Don't know about Texas, but a case can be held open as long as the statute of limitations has not run. That usually depends on the offense.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Forever. I'm sure you've heard of people who committed murder in the 1960s and still got arrested today.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    There is no limit on how long they can keep an investigation going. It could be years. There is a limit on how long they have until charges are filed and it depends on the crime.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC
    Law Offices of Louis M. Leibowitz, LLC | Louis Leibowitz
    The police generally can keep an investigation open forever. I have had murder cases that were more than 20 years old. In some places charges must be brought within a certain time period based on the statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/12/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It can remain open indefinitely until charges are filed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/28/2011
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