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What Are Criminal Statutes of Limitations?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2019 | Criminal Charges |

Most crimes – with the exception of murder and kidnapping – have a limit of time that a prosecutor can file criminal charges against a suspect. These time limits are known as the statute of limitations. The statutes are in place to make sure that evidence being used is preserved properly and justice is happening in a timely manner. 

Florida’s Criminal Statutes of Limitations

The statute of limitations in each state differs. In Florida, the statute of limitations varies depending on the severity of the crime. Misdemeanors and lesser felonies generally have a limit of one to five years where a prosecutor may file formal charges. As for serious crimes that involve murder, there’s no time limit for charges to be brought up.

Break Down of Criminal Statutes of Limitations:

· 5 years – a first-degree felony such as abuse or neglect of a disabled adult or a fraudulent security transaction

· 4 years – most other first-degree felony charges

· 3 years – other felonies

· 2 years – a first-degree misdemeanor

· 1 year – a second-degree misdemeanor

· Less than 1 year – nonviolent misdemeanors

· No limitations – felony crimes that result in death or any crime that would result in life in prison

Are You Being Charged with a Past Crime?

If you’re being charged with a crime that occurred in the past, know that there are time limits that may have expired depending on the nature of the crime. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you determine if the statute of limitations has run out on your case. Russell Spatz can be reached at 305-442-0200.


Statute Of Limitations In Florida By Crime. (2018, October 04). Retrieved from

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