One of the most common questions that criminal defense attorneys are asked involves whether or not criminal charges can be brought for a client that may have committed a crime years previously but had never been accused or convicted. This is especially prevalent after the client has allegedly committed some other crime and are wondering how the actions in their past may affect them going forward. In order to help ensure fairness in the criminal process, Colorado has imposed a statute of limitations on criminal claims that affects whether or not someone can be convicted of a crime. At The Samuelson Law Firm, I am committed to defending your rights, including defending you against baseless accusations made against you that you should not be fighting against. I explain statute of limitations and how it can affect your criminal case.
What is Colorado's statute of limitations for crimes?
Colorado has specifically outlined their statute of limitations laws and the time period after a supposed crime that the accused can be held liable.
The law establishes that for:
Felony crimes such as murder, kidnapping, treason, sexual offense against a child, and
have no statute of limitations and can be prosecuted any time.
Felony crimes such as vehicular homicide and
leaving the scene of an accident with death has a
5 year statute of limitations.
- Felony crimes have a 3 year statute of limitations.
- Misdemeanor crimes have an 18 month statute of limitations.
Traffic offenses have a
1 year statute of limitations.
- Petty criminal offenses have a 6 month statute of limitations.
Even further, if your identity has been confirmed with DNA evidence and the crime has been reported within 10 years that it allegedly occurred, there is no time limit in which you can be brought up for the crime. Additionally, there are instances in which the statute of limitations can be suspended, meaning that it can be resumed as though no time has passed if the accused has left the state or is pending within prosecution.
Colorado Criminal Lawyer Stands With You
The purpose of statute of limitations laws is to ensure that anyone accused of a crime is able to obtain a fair trial. Important evidence that is needed for trial, such as fingerprints and witness testimonials, lose credibility over time and the chance that something may go wrong after some time greatly increases. However, some crimes that are perceived as more serious have a longer statute of limitations to ensure that justice is served within a time period that accounts for the seriousness of the alleged crime.
If you have been accused in Colorado Springs of a crime, you need the dedication of an attorney that cares. With over 15 years of experience handling criminal defense cases and 24/7 availability for my clients, you know that I have the skill and passion needed when your rights, freedoms, and liberty is on the line. Get started with a free case consultation by calling my office today.