Statute of Limitations for Crimes in Texas

Statutes of limitations are specific time limits that prosecutors have to file formal charges against a person accused of a crime. Generally, if the statute of limitations has passed, then the accused individual cannot be prosecuted for the crime. While the statute of limitations is usually shorter for misdemeanors than for felonies, some crimes do not have a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations typically starts as soon as the crime is committed, however, in some cases the time limit begins when the crime should have been discovered. The statute of limitations can also be extended under certain circumstances, such as when a victim of a crime is under the age of 17 when the crime occurred.

Felony Statute of Limitations

The following felonies don’t have statutes of limitations:

  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Sexual assault with DNA evidence or probable cause at the defendant has committed the same or a similar sexual offense against five or more victims
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children
  • Human trafficking
  • Compelling prostitution

The following felonies have a 10-year statute of limitation:

  • Theft of an estate by an executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee with intent to defraud a creditor, heir, legatee, ward, distributee, beneficiary, or settlor of a trust interested in such estate
  • Theft of government property by a public servant
  • Forgery
  • Elder abuse
  • Arson

The following felonies have a 7-year statute of limitation:

  • Money laundering
  • Credit card abuse
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution
  • Exploitation of a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
  • Bigamy

The following felonies have a 5-year statute of limitation:

  • Theft or robbery
  • Kidnapping or burglary
  • Abandoning or endangering a child
  • Insurance fraud

Misdemeanor Statute of Limitations

The following Class A misdemeanors have a 2-year statute of limitation:

  • Assault with bodily injury
  • Assaulting a family member
  • Writing bad checks worth $750 or more but less than $2,500
  • Animal cruelty
  • Gambling promotion
  • Second DWI
  • Burglary of a vehicle or vending machine
  • Resisting arrest
  • Possession of 2-4 ounces of marijuana
  • Violation of protective order
  • Unlawful Restraint
  • Illegal possession of a weapon

The following Class B misdemeanors have a 2-year statute of limitation:

  • Vandalism
  • Writing bad checks worth $100 or more but less than $750
  • Making terrorist threats
  • Minor drug possession
  • Making false 911 calls
  • Harassment
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Indecent exposure
  • Evading arrest on foot
  • First-time DWI
  • Criminal mischief and trespass

The following Class C misdemeanors have a 2-year statute of limitation:

  • Writing bad checks worth less than $100
  • Skipping bail
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Leaving a child in a vehicle
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Public intoxication
  • Simple assault
  • Theft of property worth less than $50
  • Minor in possession of alcohol or tobacco
  • Gambling
  • Shoplifting

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

At LaHood Norton Law Group, PLLC, we take pride in the top-notch criminal defense services we offer to clients throughout Texas. Our law firm is committed to going the extra mile to deliver truly personalized and effective legal counsel, no matter how severe the charges against you are. Our legal team features former prosecutors and two attorneys who are Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, so you can count on us to deliver the criminal defense representation you need to pursue justice and defend your rights.

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