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Criminal Statutes of Limitation in Illinois

August 7th, 2017 at 8:01 am

criminal cases, criminal statutes of limitation, Illinois crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, Illinois criminal lawDid you know that in some criminal cases Illinois prosecutors are bound by a statute of limitations (SOL) that limits the timeframe within which they are permitted to file criminal charges against you? This means that if you commit a crime in Illinois, and are not officially charged before an applicable statute of limitations clock expires, then the government will more often than not be barred from charging you with that crime in the future.

This may sound fairly straightforward, but keep in mind that Illinois does not have a statute of limitations that applies to every crime. Moreover, there are circumstances under which a statute of limitations clock can be tolled (i.e. suspended) for a time, and in some cases it can be very hard to tell when the period of limitation begins.

Therefore, it is essential to learn about Illinois’ key criminal statutes of limitations. If you suspect that the applicable statute of limitations has expired for a crime that you committed in the past, consult with a local criminal defense lawyer about your legal options.

As mentioned above, criminal statutes of limitations are full of intricacies and nuances so it is critical that you seek competent legal advice before acting on the belief that a particular statute of limitations has expired.

Key Criminal SOLs in Illinois

Generally speaking, under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/3-5(b)) there is an 18 month statute of limitations that applies to most misdemeanor offenses and a three year statute of limitations that applies to most felony offenses. However, it is important to note that some serious crimes in Illinois are not subject to a statute of limitations and can therefore be prosecuted at any time. These crimes include the following:

  • First- and second-degree murder;
  • Attempted first-degree murder;
  • Criminal solicitation to commit murder;
  • Treason;
  • Forgery;
  • Arson;
  • Involuntary manslaughter;
  • Reckless homicide; and
  • Concealment of homicidal death.

Exceptions

As noted above, the law surrounding Illinois’ statutes of limitations is complicated. One complication is the fact that certain periods of time are routinely excluded (or tolled) from our state’s prescribed criminal SOLs. For example, under section 720 ILCS 5/3-7 an applicable IL criminal statute of limitations is generally tolled while:

  • The accused is not a resident within the state;
  • The accused is currently a public officer and the alleged offense is theft of public funds;
  • Separate prosecution is pending against the accused for the same conduct;
  • A material witness for the prosecution is on active military leave or duty;
  • Sexual assault evidence is being collected; or
  • Sexual assault evidence is being analyzed by the Department of State Police.

Reach Out to Us for Help Today

Illinois’ criminal statutes of limitations are complicated, but the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley know them inside and out. One of our firm’s experienced lawyers would be happy to discuss how Illinois’ criminal statutes of limitations may impact any potential charges brought against you during a confidential consultation.  

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K3-5

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