Statutes of Limitation in Texas Criminal Law

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.