State and federal courts have time limits for either filing a civil complaint or formal criminal charges, which are intended to ensure the integrity of evidence and to prevent people from threatening lawsuits indefinitely. These time limits are called the "statutes of limitations" and typically differ by type of civil claim or criminal charge. In Washington, there is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury, injury to property, fraud, and trespass claims; but defamation claims only have a two-year limit. For Washington criminal charges, there is no limit for murder charges but a two-year statute of limitations for gross misdemeanors. Choose a link below to learn more.