The Foley Law Firm
Free Consultations

How long does a prosecutor have to file criminal charges?

For many crimes, there is no statute of limitations. In other words, the prosecution may charge someone no matter how long ago the crime allegedly occurred. In Colorado, there are many serious offenses that have no statute of limitations. Examples include murder, kidnapping, treason and forgery.

There is a 10-year statute of limitations for other serious crimes, including aggravated incest, sexual assault, soliciting for child prostitution, trafficking in or sexual exploitation of children or pandering or procurement of a child. For other felonies, the statute of limitations is generally three years.

For misdemeanors, including traffic offenses and Class 1 and II misdemeanors, there is a statute of limitations of one year. For petty offenses, the statute of limitations is six months. Third-degree assault has a statute of limitations of five years.

The statute of limitations will toll or will be suspended for five years if someone is not in Colorado. The reason for the laws on statutes of limitations is to make sure that the evidence in the cases has not deteriorated over time. This includes eyewitness and physical evidence.

Some other states, such as Wyoming, have no statute of limitation, no matter what the crime may be.

If you believe that the statute of limitation has passed for a crime you might be charged with, it's best to speak with your attorney. He or she can determine if the prosecution can still proceed with charges. If so, it's best to work on your defense so that you are prepared if necessary. If not, then you are essentially free to go unless there is a different crime with which the prosecution could charge you that is still within the time limits.

Source: FindLaw, "Time Limits for Charges: State Criminal Statutes of Limitations," accessed March 09, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Contact Us Today

Get Legal Help Today

Call us at 719-377-4024 for a free consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

222 East Costilla Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Phone: 719-377-4024
Fax: 719-757-1146
Colorado Springs Law Office Map