The Statute of Limitations is the time period that the government has to bring formal criminal charges against a person that they believe committed a crime. The Time period begins to run at the completion of the alleged criminal act.
Florida has codified the Statute of Limitation in Florida Statute 775.15. The statute has many specific nuisances. Listed below is the general statute of limitations in criminal cases. There are certain crimes have no Statute of Limitation, and for other crimes there are offense specific limitation periods that supersede the general Statute of Limitations.
Felony/Misdemeanor Statute of Limitations
Charged Crime Time Limitation
Capital Felony No Time Limitation
Life Felony No Time Limitation
1st Degree Felony 4 Years
2nd Degree Felony 3 Years
3rd Degree Felony 3 Years
1st Degree Misdemeanor 2 Years
2nd Degree Misdemeanor 1 Year
Violation of Probation No Time Limitation
Any Theft Offense 5 Years
Abuse, Neglect, or Abuse of the
Elderly or Disabled Adults 5 Years
Pursuant to Florida Statute 775.15
(4)(a) Prosecution on a charge on which the defendant has previously been arrested or served with a summons is commenced by the filing of an indictment, information, or other charging document.
(b) A prosecution on a charge on which the defendant has not previously been arrested or served with a summons is commenced when either an indictment or information is filed, provided the capias, summons, or other process issued on such indictment or information is executed without unreasonable delay. In determining what is reasonable, inability to locate the defendant after diligent search or the defendant’s absence from the state shall be considered. The failure to execute process on or extradite a defendant in another state who has been charged by information or indictment with a crime in this state shall not constitute an unreasonable delay.