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Criminal Law Statute of Limitations in Florida

According to Florida’s criminal statute of limitations, a prosecutor only has so much time to file charges against a person. In the case of serious crimes like murder, there is no time limit. In other crimes, particularly misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, a statute of limitations kicks in from the commission of the alleged crime. Here are the basic provisions as set forth by the state of Florida.

First-Degree Felony: In the case of a felony of the first degree, a prosecutor can file charges up to four years after the crime has been committed.

Other Felonies: When the crime committed is a felony other than one of the first degree, there is a statute of limitations of three years from the date the crime was committed.

First-Degree Misdemeanor: When a misdemeanor of the first degree is committed, the prosecutor has two years after the crime to file charges against the alleged perpetrator.

Second-Degree Misdemeanor: There is a statute of limitations of one year after the crime is committed in these cases.

Noncriminal Violation: When a violation is committed that is not of a criminal nature, a prosecutor has up to one year to file charges.

It should be noted that there is no statute of limitations for some crimes. This means that a prosecutor can file charges whenever they deem fit. These crimes include those that result in someone’s death, any death penalty felonies, those felonies that are punishable by life in prison, and perjury that occurs in a proceeding that is associated with a capital felony.

There are also some offenses that have special statutes of limitations. These include:

  • First degree and second degree felonies for abuse or neglect of an aged or disabled adult. The statute of limitations is five years.
  • Violation of securities transaction. Five year statute of limitations.
  • Violation of environmental control. There is a five year statute of limitations from the date of discovery.
  • Fraud or breech of fiduciary obligation. Three year statute of limitations.
  • Misconduct in public office. Statute of limitations is two years of leaving office or above limit.
  • Sexual offenses with persons under the age of 18.

There is an exception for any statute of limitations when the alleged perpetrator has no identifiable place of work or home within the state. The statute of limitations is extended for no longer than three years in these cases.

Any person who commits a crime may assume that they are in the clear if they are not arrested quickly. This is not the case in Florida where prosecutors have the right to file charges for a year or more after the crime is committed.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Orlando or the surrounding area, reach out to our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys for assistance. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your options at no cost to you. Call today an schedule an appointment for your consultation.

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