Statute of Limitations (SOL) for criminal offenses


So you have been arrested, charged, ticketed, or indicted for a criminal offense. How long does the government have to pursue the criminal charge? Generally, the government has six years for a felony, two years on a misdemeanor and six months for a minor misdemeanor.

However, there are several exceptions to the general rule. For instance, the statute of limitations does not apply to aggravated murder and murder. There are also several felony offenses where legislatures specifically increased the limit to twenty years.

The statute of limitations takes into account when the crime allegedly occurred. The SOL can be used as a defense to white collar crimes such as fraud or a breach of fiduciary duty. Additionally, misconduct in office by a public servant is also time sensitive.

The period of limitation does not run during any time when the accused purposely avoids prosecution. Proof that the accused departed Ohio or concealed the accused's identity or whereabouts is prima-facie evidence of the accused's purpose to avoid prosecution.

There are also several other important factors to take into consideration. If you believe your case has time sensitive issues it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.