Las Vegas Criminal Law Blog

How Long Can a Felony Charge Be Pending?

The legal process is full of confusing procedures, and it can be challenging to understand how long the police have after a crime is committed to file charges against a suspect. If you’re a target for a criminal investigation, it’s important to note that prosecutors have a certain time frame in which they can file criminal charges. These time limits are considered criminal statutes of limitations. A criminal defense attorney in Clark County, NV, can help you understand the specific statute of limitations related to your case.

The Purpose of Statutes of Limitations

The statutes of limitations are designed to ensure alleged criminals can have fair trials. Evidence can deteriorate over time, making it difficult to connect a suspect definitively to a crime. The statutes protect alleged criminals by setting a time frame in which a criminal can be charged with a crime. If the established time frame runs out, there cannot be a prosecution.

It’s important to note that some felonies do not have statutes of limitations. For example, murder doesn’t have any, and many sexual crimes have none in most states. It’s also helpful to realize that the statutes vary from state to state.

How Long Do the Police Have to File Charges?

In Nevada, there are no statutes of limitations for murder and certain sexual assault offenses, which means law enforcement can file charges any time after the offense is committed. For theft, robbery, arson, burglary, and forgery, the police have four years to bring charges against an offender. For most other felonies, the time limit for prosecution is three years.

Misdemeanors are also governed by statutes of limitations. In Nevada, the time limit for filing charges for gross misdemeanors is two years and one year for lesser offenses.

Tolling of the Statute of Limitations

If you’re a suspect in a felony, you must realize that the statute of limitations can be suspended temporarily under certain circumstances. This is considered a tolling of the statutes and generally means that the clock is paused.

The time limit for pressing charges is most often paused when the suspect goes into hiding but can also be applied when the suspect is living out of state or out of the country. As soon as they return to the area where the crime was committed, the statutory time clock starts where it left off. What all this means is that you cannot hide or run away from the statute of limitations.

How Long Do Felony Cases Last?

The length of felony cases varies, but the defendant has the right to a speedy trial. Still, the case could take months or even years to conclude. Drawn-out court cases are expensive and challenging to sustain. It’s always best to work with an experienced defense attorney to ensure your rights are fully defended.

Facing a Felony Charge? The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig Can Help!

A felony charge can greatly affect your life, even years after the crime has been committed and you’ve moved on with your life. For this reason, it’s crucial that you seek legal guidance as soon as you are involved in a felony.

The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig are ready to fight for your rights. Whether you need a felony lawyer or drug crimes attorney in Las Vegas, we’re the legal professionals to trust. Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation appointment with a criminal defense lawyer.