Criminal Defense, Traffic Tickets, DWI, Drivers License Restoration

Call us now (214) 827-2800

Statutes of Limitation in Texas Criminal Law

 Statutes of limitation in Texas

In Texas criminal law, statutes of limitation speak to the length of time, after the date of alleged offense, that the State of Texas can file charges against you.  For all misdemeanors, the statute of limitation is two years.  For example, if it's alleged that you committed a misdemeanor on January 1, 2012, the state must file charges against you no later than January 1, 2014.  If they attempt to file the case anytime thereafter, your attorney can file a motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction, which the judge should grant.

On felonies, the statute of limitation varies.  Unless otherwise defined by Article 12.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, listed below, the statute of limitation for felonies is

three years.  However, the statute provides a number of exceptions to this general rule.  For example, the statute of limitations with respect to felony theft or robber is five years.  For forgery or injury to an elderly person, the statute of limitations is ten years.  Additionally, for certain offenses (e.g., murder), there is no statute of limitations.  You can be prosecuted at any point in the future, regardless of how much time has passed.  

Art. 12.01.  FELONIES.  Except as provided in Article 12.03, felony indictments may be presented within these limits, and not afterward:

(1)  no limitation:

(A)  murder and manslaughter;

(B)  sexual assault under Section 22.011(a)(2), Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021(a)(1)(B), Penal Code;

(C)  sexual assault, if during the investigation of the offense biological matter is collected and subjected to forensic DNA testing and the testing results show that the matter does not match the victim or any other person whose identity is readily ascertained;

(D)  continuous sexual abuse of young child or children under Section 21.02, Penal Code;

(E)  indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code;

(F)  an offense involving leaving the scene of an accident under Section 550.021, Transportation Code, if the accident resulted in the death of a person; or

Text of paragraph as added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 2.03

(G)  trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8), Penal Code;

Text of paragraph as added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 122, Sec. 2

(G)  continuous trafficking of persons under Section 20A.03, Penal Code;

(2)  ten years from the date of the commission of the offense:

(A)  theft of any estate, real, personal or mixed, by an executor, administrator, guardian or trustee, with intent to defraud any creditor, heir, legatee, ward, distributee, beneficiary or settlor of a trust interested in such estate;

(B)  theft by a public servant of government property over which he exercises control in his official capacity;

(C)  forgery or the uttering, using or passing of forged instruments;

(D)  injury to an elderly or disabled individual punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal Code;

(E)  sexual assault, except as provided by Subdivision (1);

(F)  arson;

(G)  trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(1), (2), (3), or (4), Penal Code; or

(H)  compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(1), Penal Code;

(3)  seven years from the date of the commission of the offense:

(A)  misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution;

(B)  securing execution of document by deception;

(C)  a felony violation under Chapter 162, Tax Code;

(D)  false statement to obtain property or credit under Section 32.32, Penal Code;

(E)  money laundering;

(F)  credit card or debit card abuse under Section 32.31, Penal Code;

(G)  fraudulent use or possession of identifying information under Section 32.51, Penal Code; or

Text of paragraph as added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 620, Sec. 1

(H)  Medicaid fraud under Section 35A.02, Penal Code;

Text of paragraph as added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 222, Sec. 1

(H)  bigamy under Section 25.01, Penal Code, except as provided by Subdivision (6);

(4)  five years from the date of the commission of the offense:

(A)  theft or robbery;

(B)  except as provided by Subdivision (5), kidnapping or burglary;

(C)  injury to an elderly or disabled individual that is not punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal Code;

(D)  abandoning or endangering a child; or

(E)  insurance fraud;

(5)  if the investigation of the offense shows that the victim is younger than 17 years of age at the time the offense is committed, 20 years from the 18th birthday of the victim of one of the following offenses:

(A)  sexual performance by a child under Section 43.25, Penal Code;

(B)  aggravated kidnapping under Section 20.04(a)(4), Penal Code, if the defendant committed the offense with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually; or

(C)  burglary under Section 30.02, Penal Code, if the offense is punishable under Subsection (d) of that section and the defendant committed the offense with the intent to commit an offense described by Subdivision (1)(B) or (D) of this article or Paragraph (B) of this subdivision;

Text of subdivision as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 2.03

(6)  ten years from the 18th birthday of the victim of the offense:

(A)  trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(5) or (6), Penal Code;

(B)  injury to a child under Section 22.04, Penal Code; or

(C)  compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(2), Penal Code; or

Text of subdivision as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 222, Sec. 1

(6)  ten years from the 18th birthday of the victim of the offense:

(A)  injury to a child under Section 22.04, Penal Code; or

(B)  bigamy under Section 25.01, Penal Code, if the investigation of the offense shows that the person, other than the legal spouse of the defendant, whom the defendant marries or purports to marry or with whom the defendant lives under the appearance of being married is younger than 18 years of age at the time the offense is committed; or

(7)  three years from the date of the commission of the offense:  all other felonies.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 975, ch. 399, Sec. 2(B), eff. Jan. 1, 1974; Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 478, ch. 203, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.

Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 413, ch. 85, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5317, ch. 977, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 330, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 716, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 476, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 740, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 39, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1285, Sec. 33, eff. Sept. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 12, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1482, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 371, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 5.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1162, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 285, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593, Sec. 1.03, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 640, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 6.001, eff. September 1, 2009.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1227, Sec. 38, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 2.03, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 122, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 222, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 620, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.


Art. 12.02.  MISDEMEANORS. (a) An indictment or information for any Class A or Class B misdemeanor may be presented within two years from the date of the commission of the offense, and not afterward.

(b)  A complaint or information for any Class C misdemeanor may be presented within two years from the date of the commission of the offense, and not afterward.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 975, ch. 399, Sec. 2(B), eff. Jan. 1, 1974.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 472, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

 

FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Find us on Google+

CITY OF DALLAS TRAFFIC TICKETS AS LOW AS $45!

Attorney Bail Bonds Posted. Jail Release.

Free Consultation. Se habla español.