When someone is accused of committing a crime, the state has a certain amount of time in which they must press charges. This time limit is called a statute of limitations and can vary based on the state and the crime. These are the statutes of limitations for criminal charges in Missouri:
- Unlawful sexual offenses with a minor (under 17 years old): 10 years
- Fraud or breach of fiduciary duty: up to 3 years after the discovery
- Official misconduct: up to three years after the offense or public employment
- Other felonies: 3 years
- Misdemeanors: 1 year
- Infractions: 6 months
The primary reason why the statute of limitations exists is to help make certain physical evidence and eyewitnesses are still available. If the statute of limitations runs out before prosecution, the accused person is free of that charge.
If you’ve been accused of a crime, there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure the statute of limitations works in your favor. In this post, we’ll discuss three things you should know as it pertains to the state of Missouri.
The Clock Can be Paused
In order to keep time running, you have to stay in the state. When a suspect moves, travels outside of the state for any period of time or goes into hiding, this is considered to be an attempt to flee. As a result, the statute of limitations’ clock will be paused — or “tolled” as attorneys would say. The clock continues to run once the person is back in the state.
Not All Crimes are Covered
There isn’t a statute of limitations for murder. This means someone can be charged for murder whether the crime happened within hours or fifty years later. In Missouri, other Class A felonies in addition to murder also don’t have any statute of limitations. This includes:
- First-degree kidnapping
- Forcible rape of a child under 12-years-old
- First-degree robbery
- Some drug crimes, such as certain circumstances of drug trafficking
More Time Can be Granted
As stated earlier in this post, if the criminal leaves the state or hides, an extension of up to three years can be awarded to the prosecutor.
Baldwin & Vernon Criminal Defense in Missouri
Being charged with a crime in Missouri can be strenuous and stressful and definitely shouldn’t be handled on your own. Our team is passionate about your well-being and we’re ready to help with a plethora of issues, including:
- Drug Crimes
- Traffic Tickets
- Vehicular Accidents
- Weapons Charges
Call 816-842-1102 to reach out for help today.