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Florida Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

Florida's criminal statute of limitations sets restrictions for how long a prosecutor may wait to file formal criminal charges against a defendant. The exact crimes alleged determine the statute of limitations applicable in a particular case. For example, there is no time limit to bring charges for serious crimes such as murder or a felony that results in death. Misdemeanors and lesser felonies, however, have between a one-year and five-year statute of limitations. The following chart provides basic information about of Florida criminal statute of limitations.

  • Code Section: The law governing the criminal statutes of limitations in Florida is section 775.15 of the Florida Statutes.
  • No Statute of Limitations: Felony crimes that result in death, death penalty felonies, felonies that are punishable by life in prison, and perjury in an official proceeding associated with the prosecution of a capital felony (death penalty) have no statute of limitations.     
  • First-Degree Felony: Four years after the crime is committed.
  • Other Felonies: Three years after the crime is committed.         
  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Two years after the crime is committed.
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: One year after the crime is committed.
  • Noncriminal Violation: One year after the crime is committed.          
  • Specific Offenses:
    • First degree felony and second degree felony for abuse or neglect of aged or disabled adult (five years);
    • Violation of a securities transaction (5 years);
    • Violation of environmental control (5 years from the of date of discovery);
    • Any offense which fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation is a material element (3 years);
    • Misconduct in public office (within two years of leaving office or any above limit, whichever is greater);
    • Sexual offenses such as battery, assault, and intercourse under age eighteen (begins running at age sixteen or when the violation is reported, whichever is earlier).  
  • Hold on Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations does not run during time a defendant is continually absent from the state or has no identifiable place of work or home in the state. This exception cannot extended the statute of limitations period for more than three years.

The below links provide resources to additional information about statutes of limitations in Florida:

An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to provide legal advice and assistance with your case if you have been accused of a crime and believe that the statute of limitations has expired.  

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