How long does the state have to press charges for a criminal offense? 57 Answers as of June 26, 2013

After being arrested for a criminal offense, what is the time frame the state has to press charges.

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
It depends on what type of crime. Some are six years, some 10 years, and some like murder have no statute of limitations.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Anderson Walsh PLLC
Anderson Walsh PLLC | STACI LYNN ANDERSON
In Idaho, the state can file charges one year from the date of a misdemeanor offense and five years from the date of a felony offense.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 9/20/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
August 18, 2011 It depends on the nature of the charge. There are varying statutes for different felonies and misdemeanors. Some criminal acts do not have a statute of limitations.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/19/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
It depends on the circumstances as to why the case has not gone to trial.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/19/2011
Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C.
Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. | Loren Dickstein
Usually 6 years in Michigan. Some offenses have different statutes of limitations and some offenses, life first degree murder, have no statute of limitations. Consult with a criminal defense attorney for specific information on your situation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/18/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer depends on the nature of the charge. In Minnesota, there is no statute of limitations for Murder, kidnapping, and labor trafficking if victim was under 18. There is also no statute of limitations for Criminal sexual conduct in 1st degree, 2nd degree, or 3rd degree where DNA evidence is used. If there is no DNA evidence, it is 9 years. Criminal sexual conduct in 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, or 4th degree where victim was under 18 has a statute of limitations of 9 years after the offense or 3 years after the offense is reported to law enforcement authorities, whichever is later.The statute of limitations for Medical assistance fraud or reimbursement fraud is 6 year.Most other offense must be brought within three years of the offense.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It would depend on the charges. In general, misdemeanors have a one-year Statute of Limitations (SOL) and felonies have a three-year SOL. However, there are exceptions to the general SOL rules such as murder; which has no SOL. Also, the SOL can be "tolled" or put on hold if you leave the state or fail to appear at a hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Generally, a defendant must be arraigned within 14 days of arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Generally, for a misdemeanor offense, the State in Illinois has 18 months to file charges, and in felony cases, three years. Some other cases, such as murder and certain sex offenses have longer statute of limitations, depending on the offense, such as murder, which has no statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Different statutes of limitations apply to different charges. Therefore, it is impossible to know the limitation until the charge is known. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    It depends. They usually have 1 year for misdemeanors, 3 years for less violent felonies, and indefinite time for more serious felonies (i.e. rapes, murders, etc).
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law | Glenn M. Sowa
    The general rule is that the "Statute of Limitations" on misdemeanors is 18 months, and on felonies 36 months from the date of the offense. However, many offenses have extended limitations (some sex offenses for example) or no limitations (such as murder, forgery). It's best to contact a criminal defense attorney with the specifics of your situation to give you an opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    It depends on the type of alleged crime. The police may have years to conduct an investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Kansas statute of limitations for criminal charges is 5 years.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Depends upon the crime. If simply arrested and released without charges being brought yet, then for a misdemeanor it varies between 6-12 months for them to file charges in court. For a felony, from one to as many as seven years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    For most crimes, there is a 3 year statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Each crime has a different period of time for various purposes. You can be held on a felony for three days until the prosecutor has to indict you in front of a Grand Jury or run a preliminary hearing before a City Court judge. That is 180.80 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Otherwise you must be released from jail ROR (without bail). Then on a felony the prosecutor has 6 months to be "ready for trail", minus any time needed for motions, plea negotiations, or adjournments required by the defendant or that benefit the defendant.. If you are charged with a misdemeanor the prosecutor has 90 days to be ready for trial. He does not have to actually try the case, he just has to send a letter or announce that he is "actually ready for trial" on that occasion on the record in court. That is CPL 30.30 and it is the timeliness stature. There is also a statute of limitations for all crimes, (excluding traffic offenses which are not criminal offenses),The only crime without a statute of limitations is murder. The statute is usually 5 or 7 years which insures that the evidence is not "stale" and that the witnesses can recall the facts and circumstances of the case. It also ensures that a defendant is able to defend a case and present alibi and eye-witness evidence to prove his innocence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Depends upon the nature of the offense. Example: murder has no statute of limitations. A DUI, the state has 2 years to file the charges; a shoplift, the court has 2 years. It just depends upon the case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Night Life Lawyers
    Night Life Lawyers | Joshua Aldabbagh
    The answer will depend on what type of offense was committed. For example, simple misdemeanors must be filed by the State within 1 year of the date of the offense. Gross misdemeanors are 2 years. Felonies can be 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, never...depending on what the felony is.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    Statute of limitations vary depending on the criminal offense. Generally speaking, the more serious the offense, the longer the statute of limitations. Murder has no statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    It depends on the type of crime. Misdemeanors have a relatively short Statute of Limitations. Felonies have a longer one and Murder charges can always be brought.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel | Gregory M. Abel
    Up to the statute of limitations for that crime. For most crimes, that is 24 months in Oregon.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You can be held for 72 hours before chrages are filed. If you're not in custody, they can take (pretty much) as long as they want before filing charges. The statuite of limitations for most criminzl charges is 3 years, although some serious crimes (murder) have no statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Rogoway Green, LLP
    Rogoway Green, LLP | Douglas Green
    The timing restrictions for charging someone with a crime are determined by the applicable statute of limitations. The statute of limitations are different depending on the specific crime charged. In Oregon, most misdemeanor statutes of limitations are two years and many felonies are three years from the date of the alleged incident. This is an oversimplification because there are other factors but, basically, every crime has a statute of limitations during which the state must charge someone.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    That would be 6 years.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Potter Law Offices
    Potter Law Offices | Cal J. Potter, III, Esq.
    Up to a year and a day on misdemeanors.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    It varies depending upon the class of crime (petty offense is different from a misdemeanor (18 months) is different from a felony, and some felonies differ from each other).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    Once arrested and charged the State is then bound by "speedy trial" timelines. These vary by the nature of the charge. The State may be permitted a delay if for a legitimate purpose and not to gain a strategic advantage.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    That depends on the crime(s) charged as each offense has a different statute of limitations in which the prosecutor can file the case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Normally they have 48 hours to bring you before a judge to advise you of what you are being accused of. They have anywhere from 18 months on a misdemeanor to 4 yrs on most felonies to arrest you for a crime. Sex crimes and major offense carry additional periods or statues of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    A reasonable time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    There are two different issues here. The Statute of Limitations and Speedy Trial. On a case where the individual was arrested, the State must, at a very minimum, file charges within speedy trial time. In Florida that means 90 days for a misdemeanor and 175 days for a Felony. In non-arrest cases, the State must file only within the Statute of Limitations which depends on what level of felony or misdemeanor you were charged with.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    2 years on a misdemeanor.
    4 years on most felonies.
    7 years for most crimes that carry the possibility of life imprisonment.
    15 years for forcible rape No statute of limitation on murder - can be commenced at any time There are a few other specialized exceptions that can extend the time period.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    Generally speaking, there is a two year statute of limitations for misdemeanors, and a four year statute of limitations. Sex crimes, crimes against minors and other serious offenses have longer statutes of limitations. Murder has none. There are also a lot of exceptions to the above rules. It really depends on the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is commonly 18 months, 3 years for most felonies, except those involving fraud or sexual assault can be more. Federal felonies have a time limit of 5 years.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Aaronson Law Firm
    Aaronson Law Firm | Michael Aaronson
    It depends on what crime is alleged to have been committed because different crimes have different time limits within which the state must file charges against you. Generally speaking, many are two years from the date of the offense.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    If you have been arrested, the State has likely already pressed charges. More often than not the formal charges will be filed within 72 hours of your arrest. Once you are charged, the State has six months to bring you to trial on the matter for risk of violating your constitutional right to a speedy trial.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    For a misdemeanor offense they have up to 1 year. For a felony offense, it varies depending on the offense - usually up to 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Usually after 1 year prejudice is presumed for misdemeanors. In other words, after 1 year, it becomes increasingly unlikely that charges will be filed. Felony, different. Take murder, you could be charged half a century later.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
    One year from the date of the alleged offense for misdemeanors and two years for felonies.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    There is no set time limit. If the person is on bond, then it could take forever except that the accused could assert his / her right to a speedy trial (not usually a good idea at least early on.) It depends on the court's docket, the investigation that must be done, etc. The statute of limitations is tolled once the charges are filed.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    You are talking about the statute of limitations and it varies - it starts once they know or have reason to know about the offense - for misdemeanors and other non-felonies it is 18 months - for many felonies it is 3 years - but for some felonies it is much longer even infinite the statute of limitations is satisfied once the charges are filed, even if you are not arrested yet.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    It depends upon the nature of the criminal charge. For felony matters the statute of limitations is a minimum of 3 years to a much longer period. For misdemeanors the statute of limitations is normally one year. You should confer with a criminal defense law firm with much experience with more specific facts of your case. You can go to wklaw.com for more information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    The statute of limitations is determined by the specific criminal charge.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    It depends on the charge. O ne year for misdemeanors. Two years for gross misdemeanors. At lea st thr ee years for felonies. Some feloniescan always be prosecuted (Murder for example).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Ramsell & Associates LLC
    Ramsell & Associates LLC | Donald Ramsell
    The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is 18 months from the date of the offense. For most felonies, it is 3 years. However some offenses can be filed at any time, such as murder.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    There are too many variables to answer this question. It depends on the the crime ( e.g. There is no time limit on murder) if you have ever been charged (once charged the crime never goes away unless you die), whether you move your location or whether you notify authorities if you do move. You should speak with an attorney and provide your specific facts.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    The statute of limitations is different for every charge. Misdemeanors are typically 12 months, and most felonies are 4 years.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    The State must prosecute within certain time limits that are set forth by statute and depend upon the severity of the alleged offense. But, if the defense asks for the adjournments then all that time does not count.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    The Statute of Limitations for filing charges depends on the offense. At least one year or more.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Different crimes carry different statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    While there are exceptions (mainly in the case of sex crimes) the state generally has three years from the incident date to charge a person with a felony and two years for a misdemeanor. This time period is known as the "statute of limitations."
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    Different crimes have different statutes of limitation. Simply put, it really depends on the type of crime you are likely to get charged with and whether it is a misdemeanor violation or a felony violation. Most misdemeanors are charged within 1 year from the date of the alleged incident. In some cases, prosecutors will file misdemeanor charges beyond the 1 year timeframe. Under these circumstances, an experienced and well qualified criminal defense lawyer can file a motion to have the case dismissed for untimeliness.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    They have 1 year for misdemeanors and 3 years for felonies except murder which has no statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/16/2011
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