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Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Criminal Charges in Texas

By Sholdon Daniels

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As an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Texas, I have seen so many clients who are facing criminal charges without even knowing that there is a time limit for the prosecution to bring charges against them. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations, and it varies depending on the type of crime.


The statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time that can pass between the commission of a crime and the filing of criminal charges. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that criminal cases are resolved in a timely manner, and to prevent the prosecution from bringing stale or unreliable evidence in court.


In Texas, the statute of limitations for most misdemeanors is two years, while the statute of limitations for most felonies is three years. However, there are some crimes that have longer or shorter statutes of limitations. For example, sexual assault of a child has a statute of limitations of 10 years, while murder and capital murder have no statute of limitations.


Remember, that the clock on the statute of limitations begins ticking from the date the crime was committed, not from the date it was discovered or reported to law enforcement. This means that even if the prosecution doesn't file charges until several years after the crime was committed, as long as the charges are filed within the statute of limitations, they are still valid.


Understanding the statute of limitations is important for both defendants and prosecutors. For defendants, it means that if the prosecution fails to bring charges within the applicable statute of limitations, they can no longer be prosecuted for that crime. For prosecutors, it means that they must act quickly to bring charges before the statute of limitations expires.


Bottom line, it's crucial for anyone facing criminal charges in Texas to understand the statute of limitations for their specific case. By working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer like me, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is resolved within the confines of the law. If you're facing criminal charges in Texas, don't hesitate to contact my office at 1-844-SHOLDON for a consultation.

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