What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is the time limit within which a legal process can occur. The idea behind it is to ensure that criminal charges are expedited so that justice is served promptly, but some people don’t understand this rule. It also ensures that evidence doesn’t fade away or that victims have to retain their memories for a long time. But there’s so much more to this legal concept. Let’s find out everything people need to know about it!
There Are Some Exceptions to the Rule
While most crimes have a statute of limitations, some federal charges don’t have one, such as those punishable by death, sex offenses, and some cases of terrorism. However, prosecution for most of these matters has to begin within five years of the event.
Some cases have longer statutes of limitations, and they can all vary by state. Additionally, some exceptions can disregard the time period, and criminals might still be charged for their wrongdoings.
But crimes have a standard statute of five years, but some examples include arson, art theft, and other crimes against financial companies with longer limitations. Furthermore, the time period might be extended for specific reasons, such as a fugitive criminal or when there are heavier charges such as child abuse, fraud, bankruptcy, and more.
When Does It Start Running?
Usually, the countdown to a statute of limitations starts as soon as the crime is committed. If it’s a case of conspiracy, the period begins counting down when someone acts in the name of the scheme. Other continuing offenses are trickier to handle, but they can start once there’s a report on the matter.
You can find lists of federal statutes of limitations online depending on the crime and the state. You can compare it to other states and get more information about the process.
You need to know the statute of limitations to understand if you can file a lawsuit or press charges in certain situations. Therefore, it’s best to be informed on the matter so that nothing slips through the cracks.
How Does It Work?
Almost every state has statutes of limitations for lawsuits in civil cases, and some are specific to personal injury situations. If the time of your case has passed, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit. The case will be dismissed right away. There are a few exceptions, but this will require proof, money, and more time.
Like other crimes, the statute starts running once an accident happens, so you have to be quick to contact a lawyer if you think you should file a lawsuit.
Personal injury cases can have a one-year statute of limitations, but it can be as long as six years, depending on where you’re located. People should check their state’s laws to determine the exact number.
Now that you’re informed on the matter, you can determine if you should start a legal process or if too much time has passed. But a lawyer will tell you precisely what you need to know and if there’s any chance of winning. The statute of limitations serves a purpose, and it’s essential to follow the laws.