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Massachusetts Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws


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 Massachusetts does as well. There is a six year time limit for the filing of misdemeanor charges, for instance. For robbery charges there isa 10 year limit and for rape charges a 16 year statute of limitations.

Learn about Massachusetts' criminal statute of limitation laws and related matters in the sections below. See Criminal Law Basics for additional details.


Code Section Ch. 277§63
Felonies Murder: none; robbery, intent to rob or murder with dangerous weapon: 10 yrs; rape, assault with intent to rape, rape/abuse/assault of child: 15 yrs.; others: 6 yrs.; indecent assault on child, on mentally retarded person, rape/abuse/assault of child, kidnapping of minor, sexual offenses such as drugging for sex, enticing for marriage, inducing minor into prostitution, lewd and lascivious behavior or acts, dissemination of harmful matter to minors, exhibiting nudity, or crime against nature: when victim reaches 16 yrs. old or violation is reported, whichever is earlier
Misdemeanors 6 yrs.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run Tolled when defendant is not usually and publicly resident

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

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