Florida Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
Prosecutors have time limits -- called statutes of limitations -- for filing criminal charges against a suspect. These time limits vary by the severity of the crime, and there are no limits for certain violent crimes such as capital murder or kidnapping.
States also have civil statutes of limitations, which similarly limit the time for filing a civil suit. These time limits ensure that evidence is preserved, justice is carried out efficiently, and that (in most cases) you have the threat of criminal charges hanging over your head indefinitely.
Florida's criminal statute of limitations sets restrictions for how long a prosecutor may wait to file formal criminal charges against you. The exact crimes alleged determine the statute of limitations applicable in a particular case. For example, there is no time limit to bring charges for serious crimes such as murder or a felony that results in death. Misdemeanors and lesser felonies, however, have statutes of limitations between one and five years. The following chart provides basic information about the Florida criminal statute of limitations.
See the Florida Criminal Laws section for more information.
Florida Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance
|Topic||Criminal statute of limitations|
|Definition||A statute of limitations tells you the time frame when the prosecution must bring a charge for a crime.|
|Code Sections||Florida Statutes section 775.15|
There is no time limit for the following crimes:
Generally, cases for other first-degree felonies must be started within 4 years and cases for second-degree felonies must be started within 3 years. But there are some exceptions:
|Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim||
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||The statute of limitations does not run when you are continually absent from the state or have no identifiable place of work or home in the state. This exception cannot extend the time limit for more than 3 years.|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Florida criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Learn More About Florida Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws from a Lawyer
There are certain time limits for when you can be charged with a crime, which depend on the nature of the crime. Whether you've been charged with a crime or believe charges are coming, it's a good idea to consult with a criminal defense attorney in Florida who can make all the difference in your case.
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