Statue of Limitations - so Long Ago, but Charging Me Now

Statue of Limitations - so Long Ago, but Charging Me Now

Statue of limitations

Statue of limitations are the time required to bring charges or “commence the prosecution.” The criminal prosecutor must bring charges within that time limit. If they try, any competent attorney should be able to help get the case dismissed. On the other hand, for the government to satisfy this requirement, the government must “commence a prosecution” within the time limit. Commencing the prosecution is usually as simple as law enforcement or the prosecutors getting the court to issue a warrant.

Statue of limitations in Kentucky

MISDEMEANORS. In Kentucky, for misdemeanors, the warrant must be issued within one calendar year of the alleged offense. If the warrant was issued one year of the offense 17 years ago, that it would be a valid warrant, and the statue limitations would not apply. The governing statute is “§ 500.050. Time limitations.”

FELONIES: In Kentucky, no statute of limitations exists for felonies, so a new charge today from twenty years ago is valid under the Statue of limitations for criminal charges. However, in such a case, other procedural defenses might be available, such as a Due Process violation, but speak to a lawyer to help you with any felony charge.

Statue of limitations in Colorado

In Colorado, a statute of limitation exist for every crime, based on the classification of the offense. This is governed by CRS 16-5-401. To summarize this statute: one year for traffic offenses, 18 months for misdemeanors, three years for most felonies, five years for “Vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the death of a person,” and no limit on the most serious of felonies.

Practical Defenses when Statutes of limitations are at play

When the offense happened so long ago, many cases fall apart because of the lack of memory on the part of the witnesses. As such, you should probably talk to an attorney to go over the discovery in your case. And do an investigation to see if the witnesses are still around and still remember anything.

A statute of limitations on criminal charges is meant to prevent old, stale cases from haunting a defendant. Memory and age of the case always effects the outcome. Generally speaking, the worse the memories of the witnesses, the better the outcome.

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