i want to know what to do with a tirthy year old case that was drop i now it is pick upnnow and i have to do it all over again what do i do

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Criminal Law, Louisiana


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are two issues at play here.  First, most criminal statutes have something called a statute of limitations, which means that a crime must be prosecuted within a certain amount of time from when it is committed, or else the state waives their ability to prosecute.  Some crimes, such as rape or murder, do not have a statute of limitations.  However, depending on the crime you are being accused of, the statute of limitations may apply and therefore be a grounds for dismissal.  Second, the fifth amendment to the US Constitution prevents something called "double jeopardy" -- meaning that you cannot be tried twice for the same crime.  Depending on the original resolution of these charges 30 years ago, double jeopardy may apply as a basis for dismissal as well.  Nevertheless, you should consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney to discuss this matter and evaluate the merits of any possible defense that is available to you.

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