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Illinois Criminal Statute of Limitations

Every state imposes time limits -- called a "statute of limitations" -- on the filing of certain criminal charges. Time limits, in theory, ensure that the evidence (physical as well as eyewitness) has not deteriorated to the point where it becomes unreliable. Still, some serious crimes have no time limits. Illinois' criminal statute of limitations law, for example, places no limits on first-degree murder charges.

Learn about Illinois criminal statute of limitations in the table below. If you have specific questions about your unique circumstances, speak with a qualified Illinois criminal defense attorney to learn more.

State Illinois
Topic  Criminal Statute of Limitations
Definition The criminal statute of limitations is a time limit the state has for prosecuting a crime. Under Illinois law, the statute of limitations depends on the severity of the crime you face, ranging from one year and 6 months to no time limit.
Code Sections 720 ILCS 5/3-55/3-7
Felonies
  • 1st-degree murder: No time limit.
  • 2nd-degree murder: No time limit.
  • Attempt to commit first-degree murder: No time limit.
  • Criminal solicitation to commit murder: No time limit.
  • Involuntary manslaughter: No time limit.
  • Reckless homicide: No time limit.
  • Treason: No time limit.
  • Arson: No time limit.
  • Residential arson: No time limit.
  • Aggravated arson: No time limit.
  • Child pornography: No time limit.
  • Forgery: No time limit.
  • Any offense involving sexual conduct / sexual penetration of a minor in which the DNA profile of the offender is obtained and entered into a DNA database within 10 years after the commission of the offense: No time limit.
  • Theft of property exceeding $100,000 in value: 7 years from the last act committed in furtherance of the crime.
  • Identity theft: 7 years from the last act committed in furtherance of the crime.
  • Aggravated identity theft: 7 years from the last act committed in furtherance of the crime.
  • Financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability: 7 years from the last act committed in furtherance of the crime.
  • Any other felony: 3 years.
Misdemeanors Within 1 year and 6 months after its commission. 
Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim
  • Child pornography: No time limit.
  • Any offense involving sexual conduct / sexual penetration of a minor in which the DNA profile of the offender is obtained and entered into a DNA database within 10 years after the commission of the offense: No time limit.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run
  • Period in which the defendant is not usually and publicly resident within Illinois.
  • Period in which the defendant is a public officer and the offense charged is theft of public funds while in public office.
  • Period in which a prosecution is pending against the defendant for the same conduct.
  • Period in which a proceeding or an appeal from a proceeding relating to the quashing or enforcement of a Grand Jury subpoena issued in connection with an investigation of a violation of a criminal law of this State is pending.
  • Period in which a material witness is placed on active military duty or leave.
  • Period in which the victim of unlawful force or threat of imminent bodily harm to obtain information or a confession is incarcerated, and the victim's incarceration is a consequence of the unlawful force or threats.
Other N/A

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Illinois Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws: Related Resources

Are You Suspected of a Crime? Get in Touch With a Local Defense Lawyer

There are times when you may have technically committed a crime, but procedurally the state can't bring a case against you because the time limit has passed. While every case is different, you'll want to know about the law and any possible statute of limitations defenses that may be available to you. Contact an Illinois criminal defense attorney today to learn more and get some peace of mind.

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