Indiana Criminal Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations on Criminal Offenses in Indiana

Worried that you’ve done something that may result in criminal charges being filed against you?  For most crimes, there is a limit on how much time can pass between when the crime was committed and when charges are filed.  If the State of Indiana waits too long to file charges then they are barred from prosecution and the person cannot then be held criminally liable for the crime.  This timeframe is known as the statute of limitations and it varies depending on the nature and circumstances of the crime.
MISDEMEANOR
If the crime is a misdemeanor, prosecution must be commenced within two (2) years of the date the offense was committed.
CLASS B, C, D/LEVEL 3, 4, 5, 6 FELONY
If the crime is considered to be a Class B, C, or D felony (committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 felony (committed after July 1, 2014), then prosecution must commence within five (5) years from the date it was committed.
Prosecution for Class B or C felony or Level 3, 4, or 5 felony even if barred by the statute of limitations mentioned directly above, may still commence within one (1) year after the earlier of the these circumstances:

  • the State first discovers evidence sufficient to charge the offender with the offense through DNA analysis; or
  • the State could have discovered evidence sufficient to charge the offender with the offense through DNA analysis.

Additionally, prosecution for rape as a Class B or Level 3 felony or for criminal deviate conduct  as a Class B felony that would otherwise be barred, may be commenced not more than five (5) years after the earliest of the following:

  • the State first discovers evidence sufficient to charge the offender with the offense through DNA analysis; or
  • the State first becomes aware of the existence of a recording that provides evidence sufficient to charge the offender with the offense; or
  • a person confesses to the offense.

CLASS A /LEVEL 1 OR 2 FELONY
There is no time limit on beginning prosecution for the commission of a Class A felony or a Class 1 or 2 felony.
MURDER
No time limit.  Additionally, it doesn’t matter how much time passed between when the person committed the elements of murder and when the victim dies.
CERTAIN SEX OR CHILD-RELATED OFFENSES
Prosecution for the following offenses is barred commenced before the date the alleged victim turns thirty-one (31) years old

  • Child molesting
  • Vicarious sexual gratification
  • Child solicitation
  • Child seduction
  • Incest

Prosecution for a sex offense committed against a child that is listed in Indiana Code 11-8-8-4.5 that is not listed above, nor a Class A or Level 1 or Level 2 felony is barred unless commenced within ten (10) years after the offense was committed, or within four (4) years after the person ceases to be a dependent of the person alleged to have committed the offense, whichever is later.
IF CASE IS DISMISSED
If charges are dismissed because of an error, defect, insufficiency, or irregularity, charges may be refiled within ninety (90) days after the dismissal, even if the period of limitation has expired by the time of the dismissal.  However, if charges are not brought within the additional 90-day window, prosecution is then barred.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE TIME LIMIT
The statute of limitations doesn’t count against the State during any time for which the following circumstances exist:

  • the accused person is not usually and publicly resident in Indiana or so conceals himself or herself that process cannot be served;
  • the accused person conceals evidence of the offense, and evidence sufficient to charge the person with that offense is unknown to the prosecuting authority and could not have been discovered by that authority by exercise of due diligence; or
  • the accused person is a person elected or appointed to office under statute or constitution, if the offense charged is theft or conversion of public funds or bribery while in public office.

As you can see, the statute of limitations can vary greatly depending on various circumstances.  Therefore, if you or anyone you know has been charged with a crime, it is critical that you have an experienced criminal law attorney to assess the case.  Contact the experienced criminal law lawyers in Indianapolis at Banks & Brower, LLC for a free consultation.  We are available 24/7/365 at (317) 870-0019 and info@banksbrower.com

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