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Mississippi Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

Every state places restrictions on how long a person can be prosecuted for a crime. These limits to prosecution are called “statutes of limitations.” Both civil and criminal cases have statutes of limitations. These time limits are meant to ensure that a criminal case won't be filed based on evidence or witness testimony that's too remote in time.

Mississippi also has a criminal statute of limitations to regulate the time in which a prosecutor must file formal charges against a defendant. While misdemeanors typically have a two-year time limit in Mississippi, felonies such as murder and some sexual assaults charges are not bound by any statute of limitations in Mississippi.

The following table list the applicable criminal statute of limitations in the state of Mississippi.

Code Section Mississippi Code Section 99-1-5: Time Limitations on Prosecutions
Felonies Some felonies have no time limitations, including all of the following:
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated domestic violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Forgery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Robbery
  • Larceny
  • Rape
  • Embezzlement
  • Obtaining money or property under false pretenses or by fraud
  • Felonious child abuse
  • Touching a child for lustful purposes
  • Sexual battery of a child
  • Exploitation of children
  • Promoting prostitution when the person involved is a minor
  • Human trafficking offenses

Six years is the time limitations for larceny of timber.

A five year time limit is applicable to conspiracy, felonious assistance-program fraud, or felonious abuse of vulnerable persons.

Any other felony not listed above must be commenced within two years of the crime.

Misdemeanors Misdemeanors have a two year statute of limitations.
Acts During Which Time Limit Does Not Run If a defendant is not in the state, flees law enforcement, or hides from the authorities, the statute of limitations doesn’t run. This means that going “off the grid” may not save a person from the repercussions of their actions.

Also, if an indictment is lost, destroyed, quashed, or stopped by any defect in the record (other than acquittal on the merits), then another year is added from the date of the indictment being destroyed or judgment reversed.

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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Want More Information? Contact a Mississippi Criminal Attorney

Mississippi's criminal statute of limitations laws regulates the time in which a defendant can be prosecuted. Are you concerned with how these laws affect you? If you need help using this law as a defense or are concerned that you might be prosecuted for a past misdeed, you need to talk to an attorney right away. Get started today by contacting an experienced Mississippi criminal defense attorney.

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