Statute of Limitations for Arizona Criminal Charges
If you committed a crime in Arizona, you probably wonder how long the state has to file charges against you. The statute of limitations can vary from one crime to another and might depend on the circumstances. The statute of limitations for Arizona criminal charges are very specific and state the code, the charges, and how long prosecution has to bring charges for these crimes.
The statute of limitations is time limits for prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against the suspect. These time limits are designed to encourage fairness when law enforcement is dealing with alleged perpetrators. The statute of limitations is designed to preserve the integrity of evidence such as the testimony of any witnesses and to ensure that criminal cases are handled in a timely fashion.
Here are some examples of the statute of limitations in Arizona:
The state has no statute of limitations for violent sexual assault or murder. People suspected or alleged to have committed this crime can be prosecuted for these crimes regardless of when the crime was committed. Even if the crime took place 30 years ago, charges can still be filed and the case can still be tried in a court of law. However, other felonies usually have a seven-year statute of limitations for possible prosecution.
For misdemeanors, the statute of limitations is much shorter. Petty offenses only have six months to be pursued. Other misdemeanors have a one-year time limit for prosecution. Arizona has no statutes of limitation for crimes that involve public records or public money.
There are state and federal categories for statute of limitations. If you are charged with federal crimes, the federal statute of limitations applies rather than the state statute of limitations. State laws change often, so you should consult with an Arizona criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime or if you have reason to believe you are at risk of facing criminal charges.
What Are Time Limits for Charges in Arizona?
A statute of limitations is a specific law that prohibits prosecutors from charging an individual with a crime that was committed longer than a specified number of years ago. Statutes of limitation are designed to help protect the integrity of a case by ensuring convictions only happen because of evidence that has not deteriorated over the passage of time. After the specified statute of limitations has passed, the alleged criminal is basically free and cannot be charged.
Usually, statute of limitations for Arizona criminal charges requires that the criminal stay inside the state where the crime was committed, remain in the public eye and be gainfully employed, and necessitate that the alleged criminal be easily accessible to face charges and prosecution. If law enforcement has failed to find this criminal living publicly within the specified timeframe, the criminal is free and cannot be prosecuted. If the criminal, however, is a fugitive and is living in hiding or out of the state where the crime was committed, the statute is suspended or invalid so the case can still be prosecuted.
How Can An Arizona Criminal Law Attorney Help Me?
If you are being charged with a crime, you should consult with an Arizona criminal law attorney. Your lawyer can determine if the statute of limitations comes into play and if it is too late to file charges against you for the alleged crime. It is detrimental to your case to consult with a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible so you can have a proper defense. Schedule your case evaluation today.