If my state’s statute of limitations is 3 years for a certain crime, if that time has passed can you still be prosecuted?

UPDATED: Dec 15, 2013

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If my state’s statute of limitations is 3 years for a certain crime, if that time has passed can you still be prosecuted?

The crime was discovered more than 3 years after it took place.

Asked on December 15, 2013 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the statute of limitations has expired, this would bar prosecution by your state; however, there may be a different statute of limitations in the federal system which would allow prosecution by the U.S. government unless that statute of limitations has expired.

Another issue to consider whether in your state or the U.S. government is that the definition of a particular crime may include lesser crimes and if the statute of limitations has not expired for those lesser offenses, prosecution would be possible on those lesser charges.


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