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What are the Statute of Limitations in Florida?

Posted in Blog on October 16th, 2013

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.