One of the fundamental rights that anyone accused of a crime in the United States has is the right to a swift and fair trial under the law. There are numerous ways that this can be accomplished, but one of the most frequent ways that this is established is by ensuring that evidence remains untampered and key witnesses are able to accurately remember the event in question. Statute of limitations laws help at this time. Statute of limitations laws govern the amount of time that the prosecution has to bring a case against someone accused of a crime. The criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Guillermo Lara Jr. explains statutes of limitations laws in Texas and how this can affect criminal charges you are facing.
How is your case affected by statute of limitations laws?
Each state is able to govern their statute of limitations laws as long as they are in the fair amount of time that it would take to prosecute someone for a crime. In general, the more serious the alleged crime, the longer the statute of limitations. This means that some crimes have a small window for prosecution while other cases can remain open indefinitely.
Criminal statute of limitations are as follows:
- No time limit: murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, offenses against young children, leaving the scene of an accident with death, and human trafficking.
- 10 years: Fiduciary theft, theft by a government employee, forgery, injury to elderly or disabled, sexual assault, arson, and compelling prostitution.
- 7 years: Money laundering, credit card abuse, identity theft, bigamy, and Medicaid fraud.
- 5 years: Theft, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, injury to the elderly or disabled, child abandonment, child endangerment, and insurance fraud.
- 3 years: Other felony crimes.
- Two years: Prostitution, pandering, pimping, marijuana possession, property theft, and other misdemeanor crimes.
- 20 years from victims 18 th birthday: Sexual performance by a child under the age of 17.
In addition, DNA evidence can affect the amount of time a case can be prosecuted, especially if DNA evidence does not match the identity of anyone whose data is readily available in a sexual assault case. The time period can also be suspended if the person leaves the state. Therefore, it is important that anyone facing serious criminal charges work with an attorney to fight for their defense.
At The Law Office of Guillermo Lara Jr., a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer is here to fight for your rights when you are facing adversity in the court. We offer a 40 minute consultation, allowing you an analysis of the case and a conversation into how Attorney Lara will help you during this difficult time. Get started by calling our Texas office today!