Criminal Statute of Limitations in Texas

Statute of limitations is basically the time period that the state of Texas has to bring charges against someone.  These time periods are different based on the type of case, the severity of the case, whether it was a violent crime, etc.  If the time passes and the state has not brought charges, then they can never prosecute that case. 

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, like if the accused is absent from the state, the period could be tolled.  But every case is different.  You will also notice that certain types of crimes can have a different statute of limitations based on the facts of the case and what section of the penal code the person was charged under.  If you have a specific question, ask an attorney.

Statute of Limitations by Case

The list below shows certain types of cases in Texas and the statute of limitation associated with that type of case.  You can find all of this information in the Code of Criminal Procedure chapter 12.

Felonies in the State of Texas

NO TIME LIMIT ON BRINGING CHARGES

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident where someone dies
  • Certain offenses against young children
  • Human Trafficking

10 YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

  • Theft by Fiduciary
  • Forgery
  • Theft by Public Servants (of government property)
  • Sexual Assaults not covered above
  • Arson
  • Trafficking not covered above
  • Compelling Prostitution

7 YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

  • Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution
  • Securing execution of document by deception;
  • A felony violation under Chapter 162, Tax Code
  • False statement to obtain property or credit under Sec. 32.32 of the Penal Code
  • Money Laundering
  • Credit Card Abuse
  • Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Bigamy

5 YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

  • Theft
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping or Burglary (except as shown below)
  • Injury to Elderly or Disabled that is not a 1st degree felony
  • Endangering or Abandoning a Child
  • Insurance Fraud

20 YEARS FROM 18TH BIRTHDAY OF THE VICTIM

  • Sexual Performance by Child
  • Aggravated Kidnapping if defendant charged under 20.04(a)(4)
  • Burglary under 30.02 of the Penal Code

10 YEARS FROM 18TH BIRTHDAY OF THE VICTIM

  • Trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(5) or (6) of the Penal Code
  • Injury to a child under Section 22.04 of the Penal Code
  • Compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(2) of the Penal Code
  • Bigamy under Section 25.01 of the Penal Code

3 YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

  • All other felonies

Misdemeanors in the State of Texas

  • The statute of limitation is two years from the date the crime was committed.
Eric Benavides
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Eric Benavides

Criminal Defense Attorney at Benavides & Serrano
Eric Benavides is a Houston Criminal Defense Attorny and immigration lawyer.He is one of the co-founders of Benavides and Serrano.He is a member of the Harris County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Houston Young Lawyers Association, and is licensed to practice law in the state by the Supreme Court of Texas and federally by the Southern District of Texas.
Eric Benavides
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