Statutes of Limitations
In California, there are a variety of statutes of limitation placed on various crimes. These statutes apply to both criminal and personal injury law, but they are more frequently used in personal injury cases. A statute of limitation is the amount of time during which a claim or charge must be filed.
California, like many other states, does not have a time limit on homicide charges. Crimes that cannot be punished by death or imprisonment in the state prison system must have charges brought against a person within one year after the offense was committed. If not, an individual can no longer be charged with the crime. These limits, unlike those for personal injury, cannot be extended, or tolled, at all, regardless of circumstances.
If an offense is punishable by time in the state prison system, then the statute of limitations period does not start until the crime is discovered. This rule applies to grand theft, forgery, falsification of public records, or acceptance of a bribe by a public official or employee. It also applies to felony welfare fraud or Medi-Cal fraud and felony insurance fraud. In addition, if the individual wanted for questioning is out of the state for up to 3 years after the crime is discovered, the statute of limitations does not apply to that period.
It is important to note that once a person has been charged with a crime, the statute of limitations period stops as prosecution has started. If an individual has a warrant out for their arrest, this generally means that they have been charged with a crime.
If you have been charged with a crime or are merely under investigation for one, contact the San Jose criminal defense lawyers of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen at (408) 296-4100.