For a variety of reasons, there is generally a time limit on when someone can be charged with a crime. State laws place limits on how much time prosecutors have to file criminal charges, called the criminal statute of limitations. Most states have different limits for different kinds of crimes, and Connecticut is no different.
In Connecticut, there is a five year time limit for the filing of crimes that carry a punishment of imprisonment for more than one year. Most other crimes, with some notable exceptions, have a one year deadline. Murder and Class A felonies, meanwhile, have no statute of limitations.
Criminal Statutes of Limitation in Connecticut
Learn about Connecticut's criminal statute of limitation laws and related matters in the sections below.
|Code Section||54-193 et seq.|
|Felonies||Murder or capital, Class A felony: none; if imprisonment is more than 1 yr.: 5 yrs.; any other: 1 yr.; sexual abuse, exploitation, or assault: 30 yrs. after victim reaches majority or 5 yrs. from date of notification by victim, whichever is earlier (5 yrs. max.); when DNA available for sexual assault offenses: 20 yrs. if DNA evidence establishes the identity of the person who committed the offense and the victim notified police within 5 yrs. of offense|
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||Fleeing or residing outside state|
Where was the idea of a criminal statute of limitation born? Mostly to ensure criminal trials (and possible subsequent convictions) are based on evidence that has not deteriorated over time. Testimonial evidence (officer statements, eyewitness accounts, etc.) and physical evidence (fingerprints, DNA, etc.) can fade or be lost over time. Thus, it's generally better to have a criminal trial as soon after an incident as possible. Longer or indefinite statutes of limitations attempt to balance the interest in fair trials with the seriousness of the offense. The thought process there is that criminals should not be able to avoid the consequences for serious crimes just by waiting out the authorities.
Hence most statutes of limitations will run only while the alleged criminal remains visible and in the state where the crime occurred. If the suspect is out of the state or otherwise living in hiding, this will pause, or “toll,” the statutory clock. The clock resumes running, so to speak, if the criminal reenters the state.
Related Resources for Connecticut Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws:
Any criminal charge is a serious matter, and criminal statutes can vary depending on your jurisdiction. If you have been charged with a crime, you can contact a Connecticut criminal defense attorney in your area to discuss your case. You can also visit FindLaw’s Criminal Law Basics for additional details.
Contact a qualified attorney.