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Archive for the ‘felonies’ tag

Illinois Criminal Statutes of Limitations: When Is a Case Too Old to Prosecute?

November 24th, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal justice system,Under the criminal justice system there is a limit  to when prosecutors can bring criminal charges. The time limit is called the statute of limitations. After a statute of limitations has passed a prosecutor cannot bring criminal charges. However, there have been more than a few cases where someone confessed to a crime, thinking the statute of limitations had expired, but were wrong and ended up getting convicted.

Misdemeanors

Under Illinois law the statute of limitations for misdemeanors is 18 months. Even if new evidence surfaces after 18 months, a prosecution cannot be brought. There are certain factors that can stop the statute from running. If you have been legally charged, but fail to show up for court, the statute of limitations is tolled, or put on pause. When you are eventually found, even if it is years later, the case will continue.

Felonies

The statute of limitations for most felonies in Illinois is three years after the commission of the crime. There are several important exceptions to this rule, however, for most felonies, after three years –  if charges have been filed or you have not been indicted – the prosecution cannot start the process.

Murder

Cases involving murder have no statute of limitations in Illinois. The list of crimes related to murder for which there is no statute of limitations include:

  • First degree murder;
  • Attempt to commit first degree murder;
  • Second degree murder;
  • Involuntary manslaughter;
  • Reckless homicide;
  • Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving death or personal injuries; and
  • Concealment of a homicide.

It does not matter when any of these crimes were committed, you can always be prosecuted for them.

Special Circumstances

There are many other cases besides one that deal with murder that either have no statute of limitations or have an extended statute of limitations.

Other crimes that have no statute of limitations are:

  • Arson;
  • Aggravated arson;
  • Child pornography; and
  • Aggravated child pornography.

Crimes that deal with the abuse or sexual exploitation of a minor in some way have extended statutes of limitations. The statute is extended for one year after the minor victim turns 18, but the statute will always be at least three years.

For example, if someone commits the crime of exploitation of a minor and the victim is 13 at the time of the crime, the statute of limitation will not expire until the victim turns 19, making the statute in this case approximately six years. If the victim were 17 at the time of the crime, the statute would not expire when the victim turned 18 or 19. The statute would expire three years after the commission of the crime.

Criminal statutes of limitations can be complex. If you have been charged or accused of a crime, you need to get help fast. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer before you talk to anyone else about your case. Call today to schedule a consultation. Your freedom could be at risk.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K3-6

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