November 27, 2014
Statutes of limitations can be either federal or state laws that place a restriction on the amount of time that can pass between a crime being committed and a person being charged with that crime. Once the allotted time has passed, charges cannot be brought against the person accused of committing the crime. Generally, the time limit starts on the date that an alleged crime was committed, not the date that the crime was first discovered or investigated.
Each state sets different statutes of limitations for criminal cases. It is important to understand your rights in Florida when it comes to the statutes of limitations.
Florida Statute of Limitations
Some crimes, including murder or serious federal offenses, have no statute of limitation. However, most crimes do have time limitations. These vary by state and certain aspects of the crime. However, in Florida, the statute of limitations is generally as follows:
– First Degree Felony: Varies
– All Other Felony Degrees: 3 years
– First Degree Misdemeanor: 2 Years
– Second Degree Misdemeanor: 1 Year
These are just the very basics when it comes to statutes of limitations in Florida. The details surrounding the case may alter the statute of limitation for each individual.
In Florida, there are special circumstances that can lengthen the statute of limitations. For example, there is no statute of limitation on a first or second-degree sexual battery felony. There is also a 10-year statute of limitation on any felony that results in the injury to any person by use of a “destructive device.”
These are just a few examples of the special provisions that change the statutes of limitation. For a full list of the special provisions, review Florida Statute 775.15.
Florida’s Tolling Provision
If the defendant is absent from the state, meaning they do not live or work in the state, then the statutes of limitation may be “tolled.” This means that the clock is stopped, and the time they are away from the state will not count towards their statutes of limitation for up to a maximum of three years. Therefore, if someone commits a crime with a one-year statute of limitation and immediately leaves the state for two years, they may still be charged when they return to Florida as long as it is within one year.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, contact a criminal defense lawyer at the Khonsari Law Group today. We will fight vigorously for your case and to protect your freedom. Do not wait and call KLG now for a free consultation.