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Detroit Legal Blog

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Criminal Charges?

May 31, 2017, by Maurice Davis in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, Legal Blog

If you have been accused of a criminal act, then you should know that a state prosecutor must file charges against you within a specific period of time, based on the act. This time limit is referred to as a statute of limitations and it prevents a prosecutor from charging you with a crime that occurred more than a legally permitted number of years ago.

Attorney Maurice Davis is a Detroit criminal defense lawyer with years of experience helping clients. He knows the complexities of Michigan’s statute of limitations for criminal charges and can help you navigate the intricacies of your case, so call (313) 818-3238 for a free and confidential consultation.

The Statute of Limitations for Criminal Charges in Michigan

Section 767.24 of Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL 767.24) defines the time limit by which a prosecutor must bring criminal charges against you. While there is no time limit for charges of murder, conspiracy or solicitation to commit murder, first-degree sexual criminal conduct, and crimes involving bombs, explosives, and acts of terrorism, MCL 767.24 is very specific about when you can be pressed with other charges. For example, charges related to:

  • Child sexual abuse, criminal sexual conduct (second-, third-, and fourth-degree), and assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct must be filed either within 10 years of the offense or by the alleged victim’s 21st birthday, whichever is later.
  • Kidnapping, extortion, assault with the intent to commit murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, and first-degree home invasion must be filed within 10 years of the offense.
  • Identity theft or attempted identity theft must be filed within either six years of the offense or six years within determining the individual who committed it.
  • False pretenses concerning real property, forgery, or uttering and publishing of an instrument that affects an interest in real property or mortgage fraud must be filed either within 10 years of the offense or within 10 years after the instrument affecting the real property was recorded, whichever comes later.

It is also important to note that any offense that involves DNA, e.g., child sexual abuse and acts of criminal sexual conduct, do not carry a statute of limitations if the accused is unidentified. If the accused is ultimately identified, then the statute of limitations for filing a criminal charge is 10 years.

All other charges must be brought within six years of the offense. Furthermore, the countdown to the expiry of time within which charges must be filed for any crime does not include any period during which the offender resided out of state. Leaving Michigan simply extends the time during which charges may be filed.

Contact Davis Law Group for Help

You need the right lawyer when your future is on the line because of criminal charges. Even if you think the past is the past, the law may allow what you consider ancient history to be brought against you in a court of law. This is why you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the Michigan criminal court process. Davis Law Group can help when you, so contact us at (313) 818-3238to schedule a free consultation.