Alaska Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
State prosecutors must file criminal charges within the time limits established by the criminal statute of limitations, which vary by the type of crime. Generally, the "clock" begins running at the approximate time the crime was committed. However, the time may be paused temporarily if the suspect is either living out of state or otherwise attempting to evade law enforcement.
For example, a car thief who crosses state lines and lives under an assumed name cannot simply return after the statute of limitations has passed and avoid prosecution, since the clock would have been paused during his or her time living out of state or in hiding. But once that individual returns to the state where the crime was committed and lives openly, the clock continues running.
The reasons for these time limits are to help preserve evidence, including witness testimony, and to ensure greater efficiency of the criminal justice system. Time limits usually differ according to crime classification (felony or misdemeanor, for example), but murder and other serious crimes usually don't have a time limit for charges.
Alaska Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance
As in virtually all other states, there is no statute of limitations for murder in Alaska. Most felonies and all misdemeanors carry a five-year time limit, while the maximum additional "tolling" for a suspect living in hiding is three years.
Additional details of Alaska's time limits for criminal charges are listed below. See Time Limits to Bring a Case: The Statute of Limitations to learn about similar time limits used under civil law.
|Topic||Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws|
|Definition||The Alaska statute of limitations is a time limit the state has for prosecuting a crime. Under Alaska law, the statute of limitations depends on the severity of the crime you face, ranging from five years to no time limit.|
|Code Sections||AS 12.10.010 et seq.|
|Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim||
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||
Note: State laws are always subject to change through a few different means, including the enactment of newly signed legislation and case law from higher court decisions. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact an Alaska criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Alaska Criminal Statute of Limitations: Related Resources
- Alaska Criminal Laws
- Alaska Civil Statute of Limitations
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