Minnesota Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
All states have time limits for how long prosecutors have to file charges after a crime has been committed (or "discovered"), called the criminal statute of limitations. These time limits ensure a more efficient criminal justice system, while making sure evidence and witnesses' memories remain relatively fresh. These time limits also prevent prosecutors from threatening criminal charges indefinitely. However, there is no statute of limitations for murder charges in virtually every state, due to the seriousness of the crime.
Minnesota Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance
In Minnesota, as in other states, the statute of limitations vary for different types of crimes. For example, misdemeanors carry a three-year time limit, while the time limits for some felonies range from three to nine years. However, for more serious crimes, such as murder or sex trafficking of minors, Minnesota law permits charges to be filed against a suspect at any time with no time limits.
Additional details of Minnesota's criminal statute of limitations can be found in the following table.
|Topic||Criminal Statute of Limitations|
|Definition||The criminal statute of limitations is a time limit the state has for prosecuting a crime. Under Minnesota law, the statute of limitations depends on the severity of the crime you face, ranging from 3 years to no limit.|
|Code Section||Minn. Stat. Ann. Section 628.26|
|Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim||
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||
Any period which the defendant:
Any period involving DNA analysis related to the crime unless defendant can show there was intentional delay used to gain an unfair advantage.
Note: State laws are constantly changing. We strive to maintain accurate and up-to-date state law summaries, but you may also want to contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
How is the Statute of Limitations Tolled?
Time limits for filing criminal charges run only when the suspect is visible and within the state where the crime was committed.
Tolling a statue of the limitations suspends the running of the time limit. This prevents criminals from simply crossing state lines or hiding out in order to avoid charges. So an individual who commits bank robbery, promptly leaves the state, and lives under an alias will not avoid charges after three years because the statute of limitations period will not run during that time. But once the individual returns and lives openly in the state where the crime was committed, the clock will begin running again.
Research the Law
- Minnesota Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Minnesota Criminal Statute of Limitations: Related Resources
- Minnesota Civil Statute of Limitations
- Minnesota Criminal Laws
- Time Limits for Charges: State Criminal Statutes of Limitations
- Find a Criminal Law Attorney
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.