There are time limits for state prosecutors to bring criminal cases against accused individuals, called the criminal statute of limitations, after which the suspect is essentially off the hook. While the "clock" typically begins running at the point the crime is committed, it is stopped (or at least put on hold) when an individual is being evasive, living out of state, or in some instances under the age of majority. For example, a suspected car thief drives across the country and lives under various aliases in order to avoid arrest. But the statute of limitations likely will not run until he returns to the state where the crime was committed (although he may be apprehended by police in another state and returned).
Statutes of limitations are meant to help preserve the integrity of evidence, including witness testimony, and maintain greater efficiency in the criminal justice system generally. There are usually no time limits for murder or other serious felonies.
Nebraska Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance
There is no time limit for the state to file charges of murder, treason, arson, or forgery, but most felonies carry a three-year statute of limitations. There's an 18-month time limit for most misdemeanors.
Additional details of Nebraska's time limits for criminal charges are listed below. See Time Limits to Bring a Case: The Statute of Limitations to learn about similar time limits used in civil law.
|Felonies||Murder, treason, arson, forgery: none; others: 3 yrs.; if victim is less than 16 yrs. old at time of offense, sexual assault (1, 2, or 3 degree), kidnapping, false imprisonment, child abuse, pandering, debauching a minor: 7 yrs. from offense or victim's 16th birthday, whichever is later.|
|Misdemeanors||18 mos.; if fine less than $100 or jail time less than 3 mos.: 1 yr.|
|Public Assistance Fraud||5 yrs.|
|Violation of Securities Act||5 yrs.|
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||Fleeing justice; under 18|
Note: State laws may change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, decisions from appellate courts, or other means. Be sure to contact a Nebraska criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Nebraska Criminal Statute of Limitations: Related Resources
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