In this episode Attorney Chuck Franklin explains the statute of limitations and how it works. Chuck also touches base on both Misdemeanor crime and felony level crime in relation to the statute of limitations.
In this video, I will explain the statute of limitations for Misdemeanors and Felony level crimes. I have received many questions about this topic in the past so more clarification on this is needed.
Now, if you get charged with a Misdemeanor(s) such as: shoplifting, DUI, or reckless driving. The state has one year to file charges against you, if they don’t then that is it. The case goes out the window. However, there is a 6-month saving statute, which in reality could allow them 18 months to charge you. Typically, though, the state has a year to file against you. Here is an example of how the statute of limitations could potentially play out: If you get charged with a DUI, more often than not the police agency that arrested you does not have the proper equipment to test your blood. So, let’s say you get pulled over in the city of Scottsdale, Arizona for example. They send the blood samples to the main DPS lab (In Arizona most departments throughout the valley send samples to DPS). The main DPS lab does get backed up! A particular client of mine asked me about their DUI case, and I told them, do not make me call about the case. However, they kept insisting for me to call about the status, so I did. The head prosecutor went looking for the police report. Long story short, he found it shoved under a bunch of papers on an assistant prosecutor’s desk. This is exactly why you should not open up a can of worms. The Prosecutor pushed the file through and my client ended up getting charged with a DUI on the last day allotted by the statute of limitations. If the client had not asked to locate the file then they would not have been charged with the DUI. The point here is, it is not always the best thing to do to go asking about your case if you have not heard anything. I hope that cleared up any misconceptions about the Statue of limitations on Misdemeanor crimes. Moreover, crime at the Felony level has a 7-year statute of limitations from the date the crime is discovered. However, this is not the same for a homicide case which can remain open forever. Now, if someone is not charged within 7 years, then that person ends up walking away from the crime and they can no longer be charged. However, if that person receives a Felony charge and posts bond and gets released on that bond, they cannot simply leave state or country and have the statute of limitations go away. If the person flees, then the time on the statute of limitations essentially “stops” or “tolls” and the warrant will stay valid forever.
Again, the statute of limitations for Misdemeanors is typically one year and for Felonies it is seven years.
If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance of any kind do not hesitate to contact Attorney Chuck Franklin here: (480) 545-0700