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Mississippi Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

Every state places restrictions on how long a person can be prosecuted for a crime. These limits to prosecution are called “statutes of limitations.” Both civil and criminal cases have statutes of limitations. These time limits are meant to ensure that a criminal case won't be filed based on evidence or witness testimony that's too remote in time.

Mississippi also has a criminal statute of limitations to regulate the time in which a prosecutor must file formal charges against a defendant. While misdemeanors typically have a two-year time limit in Mississippi, felonies such as murder and some sexual assaults charges are not bound by any statute of limitations in Mississippi.

The following table list the applicable criminal statute of limitations in Mississippi.

Code Section Mississippi Code Section 99-1-5: Time Limitations on Prosecutions
Felonies Some felonies have no time limitations, including all of the following:
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated domestic violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Forgery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Robbery
  • Larceny
  • Rape
  • Embezzlement
  • Obtaining money or property under false pretenses or by fraud
  • Felonious child abuse
  • Touching a child for lustful purposes
  • Sexual battery of a child
  • Exploitation of children
  • Promoting prostitution when the person involved is a minor
  • Human trafficking offenses

Six years is the time limitations for larceny of timber.

A five year time limit is applicable to conspiracy, felonious assistance-program fraud, or felonious abuse of vulnerable persons.

Any other felony not listed above must be commenced within two years of the crime.

Misdemeanors Misdemeanors have a two year statute of limitations.
Acts During Which Time Limit Does Not Run If a defendant is not in the state, flees law enforcement, or hides from the authorities, the statute of limitations doesn’t run. This means that going “off the grid” may not save a person from the repercussions of their actions.

Also, if an indictment is lost, destroyed, quashed, or stopped by any defect in the record (other than acquittal on the merits), then another year is added from the date of the indictment being destroyed or judgment reversed.

If you’ve been charged with a crime or have questions about something from your past, you should contact a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer.

Note: State laws change regularly, it’s best to contact a criminal lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these statute of limitations.

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