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Florida Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

Florida's criminal statute of limitations sets limits for how long a prosecutor may wait to file formal criminal charges. There is no time limit to bring charges for serious crimes such as murder or a felony that resulted in death. But lesser felonies have between a a 2- and 5-year statute of limitations, depending on the specific offense.

The following chart provides the basics of Florida criminal statute of limitations law. See Details on State Criminal Statute of Limitations for more general information.

Code Section 775.15
  • Felony that resulted in death: none; perjury in official proceeding that relates to prosecution of a capitol felony: none; Capital or life felony: none;
  • 1st degree felony and 2nd degree felony for abuse or neglect of aged or disabled adult: 5 yrs.; others: 3 yrs.; other felony, violation of securities transaction: 5 yrs.; violation of environmental control: 5 yrs. of date of discovery;
  • any offense which fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation is a material element: 3 yrs.;
  • misconduct in public office: within 2 yrs. of leaving office or any above limit, whichever is greater;
  • sexual offenses (battery, assault, intercourse under age 18): begins running at age 16 or when violation is reported, whichever is earlier.
Misdemeanors Other 1st degree misdemeanors: 2 yrs.; 2nd degree and noncriminal violations: 1 yr.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run Continually absent from state, no reasonably ascertainable work or abode in state: maximum extension 3 yrs.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Florida criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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