Each state has a “statute of limitations" or law that limits when you can have criminal charges brought against you for something illegal that you are accused of doing. The time limit is different depending on the severity of the crime and sometimes depending on who is the victim. Some crimes have no time limit for bringing a case, usually because of their extremely violent nature.
The time limit for felonies varies by the type of crime, as follows:
There is no time limit for murder, terrorism, use of weapons of mass destruction, rape, and aggravated criminal sodomy.
If the victim of any crime is the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), the case must be started within 10 years.
The time limit for the following sexually violent crimes depends on the age of the victim: rape (before the 2014 changes to the law), any indecent liberties with a child, any criminal sodomy, indecent solicitation of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated incest, aggravated human trafficking if for sexual purposes, and commercial exploitation of a child.
For victims 18 years or older, the case must be started within 10 years of the crime or within 1 year of the discovery of DNA evidence establishing the offender's identity, whichever is later.
For victims under 18, within 10 years of the victim's 18th birthday or within 1 year of the discovery of DNA evidence establishing the offender's identity, whichever is later.
For all other felonies, the case must be started within 5 years.
For all misdemeanors, the case must be started within 5 years.
Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim
If a child is the victim of a sexually violent crime, the case must be started within 10 years of the victim's 18th birthday or within 1 year of the discovery of DNA evidence establishing the offender's identity, whichever is later.
If the statute of limitations for a crime against a child victim stopped because of the factors described in the next section of this chart, the case must be started before the victim turns 28.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run
The statute of limitations does not run during any of the following:
When you are absent from the state or hiding within the state.
The fact that the crime has been committed is concealed.
When there is substantial evidence that two of the following factors exist: the victim was under 15 when the crime happened; the victim did not understand the acts were a crime, due to her age or intelligence; the victim was prevented by a parent or other legal authority from telling the police about the crime; or an expert witness testifies that the victim has repressed memories about the crime, and there's corroborating evidence. In these situations, a case must be started before the victim turns 28.
When a case is pending against you for the same crime.
A court order prevents an administrative agency from investigating or proceeding on criminal conduct.
A case starts for the purposes of the statute of limitations when a complaint or information has been filed or an indictment by grand jury returned and a warrant has been issued. However, if the warrant isn't executed, the prosecution isn't deemed to have started.
Note: State laws change constantly, so it's important to verify these state criminal laws by conducting your own legal research or contacting an experienced Kansas criminal defense lawyer.
Charged With a Crime in Kansas? Contact a Defense Attorney
Have you been charged with a crime? Are you worried that you might be? If you're concerned about criminal charges, an experienced Kansas criminal defense attorney can help you figure out what to do next.