statute of limitations on escape from work release

is there a statute of limitation if you walked out of a work release center?

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Criminal Law, South Dakota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A majority of states have a statute of limitations for all crimes except murder.  Once the statute has expired, the court lacks jurisdiction to try or punish a defendant.  Generally, the time limit starts to run on the date the offense was committed, not from the time the crime was discovered or the accused was identified

However, the statute of limitations does not apply in this case.  Since you were in work release not only had charges been filed but a conviction obtained and sentencing imposed.  Further, a bench warrant has probably been issued for your arrest.  And warrants never expire.

You need to consult with an attorney in the area where all of this happened.  Getting stopped for something as minor as a traffic violation could turn this all up.  You'll be better off if you turn yourself in voluntarily.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a South Dakota attorney, but my research suggests that the statute of limitations on escape is seven years.  However, it also looks like that time does not run while you are outside the state.

For more information about how the law might affect you, and reliable advice based on all of the facts of your situation, I'd recommend a consultation with a criminal lawyer in your area.  One place to find an attorney is our website,

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