Federal crimes can occur in any state, including including Texas. When these crimes occur, the Department of Justice, which oversees all federal criminal prosecution, has a specific period of time to prosecute the case.
The federal government’s methods in these cases, particularly surrounding the statute of limitations, can be confusing.
That’s why it’s time to take a look at the federal statutes governing limitations on prisecutions It is good information to have, especially if facing federal charges.
The Statute of Limitations: What Is It?
Governments have a certain amount of time to bring criminal charges against citizens. State governments have statutes of limitations, as does the federal government. The statute of limitations is the time a victim has to file charges in criminal or civil matters.
Typically, the statute of limitations begins ticking down the day the crime occurs. If the statute of limitations runs out, criminal charges will not get filed against a person in the case.
It’s important to note that some crimes, such as all crimes, do not have a statute of limitations. The government has a right to prosecute these kinds of cases up to 50 years after the crime occurred.
Why Does the Federal Government Have a Statute of Limitations?
Federal crimes have a statute of limitations for the sole purpose of defending their citizens. It protects the rights of an individual against crimes that occurred so long ago that they cannot properly defend themselves in court against them.
Evidence is lost and witness recollections diminish over time—both of which can lead to unreliable convictions.
Of course, the statute of limitations also exists to prevent people from being under investigation by the federal government or being harassed for years.
Additionally, putting a time limit on bringing charges against someone gives investigators an incentive to work quickly. It allows enough time to conduct a proper investigation that doesn’t cut corners.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Federal Crimes?
In non-capital crimes, the federal statute of limitations is five years. Texas state laws may have different statutes of limitations for the specific crime. Know your rights and explore your options with an attorney.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Five years is the standard statute of limitations for most federal crimes. Exceptions to the rule exist. Some of these exceptions include
- Tax crimes such as tax evasion – The statute of limitation is six years.
- A minimum of $1 million in fraud committed against the government – The statute of limitations is seven years.
- Airplane or airline violence – This has statutes of limitation of eight years.
- Embezzlements from a federal institution – This has a statute of limitations of 10 years
- Fraudulent citizen documents – This has a statute of limitations of 10 years.
The federal government can also extend the statute of limitations in a case in specific cases. It can include child abuse, hiding assets during bankruptcy, or wartime fraud against the government, just to name a few instances.