The Statute of Limitations and Criminal Cases in Illinois

Criminal-Charges-300x200In general, there are limits to the amount of time that state prosecutors have to bring criminal charges before they are barred by the Statute of Limitations from filing any criminal charges. If the state files criminal charges beyond the time limit, or the Statute of Limitations, the person charged with the crime can appear in court and get the criminal charges dismissed.

The general rule is that the Statute of Limitations for most felonies is 3 years from the date of the offense. The Statute of Limitations for most misdemeanors is 18 months the date of the offense. However, for some crimes, there is no Statute of Limitations. There are certain instances in which the Statute of Limitations can be tolled, or paused, for a period of time. In other instances, the Statute of Limitations can be extended for a period of time. The Statute of Limitations for your particular case will vary depending on a variety of factors that apply to the particular crime that you are being charged with, or the specific facts of your case.

The Statute of Limitations will be tolled, or paused, under the following circumstances:

– if you are not a resident of the state of Illinois. This usually applies to cases in which the criminal defendant fleas the jurisdiction, or the state of Illinois. That’s so if you think that by leaving the state you can avoid having criminal charges filed against you by “running out the clock”, you will be wrong and this will not work.

-If you work for the government and the case involves the theft of public funds;

-If you are currently facing criminal charges and the new case involving the Statute of Limitations involves the same conduct as the crime that you are currently charged with;

-If a material witness to the case is on active military duty or on military leave;

-If the victim of a violent crime is in jail and the victim is in jail as a consequence of the crime that the state is seeking to charge the criminal defendant with.

There is no Statute of Limitations in Illinois for the following crimes:

-Murder, including Second Degree Murder, Attempt to Commit First-Degree Murder, Concealment of a Homicide, Involuntary Manslaughter, and Reckless Homicide;

-Leaving the Scene of an Accident involving death or injuries, and Failure to Render Aid or Provide Information in a Motor Vehicle Accident;

-Child Pornography and Aggravated Child Pornography;

-Arson and Aggravated Arson;

-Treason;

-Forgery.

In addition, there is no Statute of Limitations for some sexual offenses in Illinois. If an offender’s DNA was entered it to the state DNA database within 10 years of an offense, and if the victim of a sexual offense reported the offense to the police within three years, there is no Statute of Limitations. If a victim of a sexual attack was murdered within 2 years of a sexual attack, there is no Statute of Limitations.

Whether your case can be dismissed because of a violation of the Statute of Limitations is a highly technical and case-specific issue. In order to determine whether a potential violation of the Statute of Limitations can lead to the eventual dismissal of criminal charges that have been filed against you will depend on a variety of factors that require that you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney that understands the law and can effectively evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding the criminal charges that you are facing to determine whether your case can be dismissed because of a violation of the Statute of Limitations.

James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, criminal defense lawyer with over 25 years of handling criminal cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas gave the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.” The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys gave James Dimeas the “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction” award. The American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the Year 2018 and 2019. The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer.” James Dimeas has been recognized as a “Best DUI Attorney” and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. AVVO rates James Dimeas as “Superb”, the highest rating possible for any criminal defense attorney in the United States.

If you are facing criminal charges you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultations. To speak to James Dimeas, you can call him anytime at 847-807-7405 to discuss your particular case.

Additional Resources:

Criminal Statute of Limitations for Sexual Offenses

720 ILCS 5/3-6. Illinois Statute of Limitations

Additional Blogs:

What is a Felony in Illinois?, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, November 25, 2018.

What’s a Misdemeanor in Illinois and What Can it Mean for Your Future, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, October 27, 2018.