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Statute of Limitations

Whether criminal charges have been filed on time is one of the first things an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney should find out as part of your aggressive defense strategy. Where the “statute of limitations” for a particular crime expires before formal charges are filed, you may be able to get those charges dismissed.

Our Michigan Criminal Defense Team Has Years Of Experience Raising The Statute Of Limitations As A Defense To Criminal Charges

Most criminal offenses in Michigan, including burglary, assault and arson, are covered by a six-year statute of limitations, contained in MCL767.24. This means that if a prosecutor files charges after the limitations period has passed even by a day an experienced Michigan statute of limitations defense attorney may be able to get criminal charges dismissed as untimely.

Our Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers Have Years Of Experience Successfully Raising The Statute Of Limitations As A Defense

At Grabel & Associates, we defend clients every day in criminal courts across Michigan and have seen first hand the impact failing to file charges on time can have on your case. By raising the statutes of limitations as a defense, we have been able to get numerous felony and misdemeanor criminal cases dismissed.

How Can I Use The Statute Of Limitations As A Defense In My Case?

Many people get confused by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations doesn’t prevent a prosecutor from filing charges against you. Instead, it is an affirmative defense. This means that if you are not formally served with charges within a certain amount of time, you may have a complete defense. However, it’s up to you (or your criminal defense trial attorney) to raise this defense. If you don't raise the defense, then the prosecutor can move forward with the charges.

Also, certain actions stop (in legal terms “toll”) the statute of limitations. For example, if you leave the state of Michigan, the period of time to bring a charge may be extended.

Exceptions To The General Six-Year Statute Of Limitations

It’s important to be aware of some very significant exceptions that exist to the general six-year statute of limitations.

For Michigan’s most serious felonies, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct (rape), terrorism, murder and solicitation to commit murder, no statute of limitations exists. This means that charges may be brought years even decades after a crime has occurred. This may happen in certain “cold cases” where DNA evidence collected at a crime scene identifies a suspect years later, or a where a reluctant  eyewitness provides critical testimony decades after a crime has been committed.

Most Sex Crime Charges Must Be Brought Within 10 Years, Or By the Victim’s 21st Birthday

Further, the statute of limitations for bringing many sex crime charges is longer than six years. Under Michigan law, charges for certain sex crimes must be brought within 10 years of the crime or by the victim’s 21st birthday, whichever is later.

  • Sex crimes subject to the longer statute of limitations include:
  • Second, Third and Fourth-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • Assault with the intent to commit Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • Child Pornography

A 10-Year Statute Of Limitations Applies To Other Serious Michigan Felonies

A 10-year statute of limitations also applies to crimes such as kidnapping, extortion, assault with intent to commit murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, or first-degree home invasion. Numerous other crimes (including misdemeanors, felonies and white-collar crimes) carry their own, unique statute of limitations, as determined by the Michigan legislature.

If You Have Been Charged With A Crime, Our Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Raise The Statute Of Limitations As Part Of A Vigorous Defense

At Grabel & Associates, we understand that trying to figure out the statute of limitations for a particular crime may be complex. As a dedicated Michigan criminal defense law firm, it is our job to keep on top of the laws and exceptions concerning statutes of limitations for various crimes, and to know when we can use this defense to fight the charges filed against you. We have successfully raised the statute of limitations defense in courtrooms across Michigan including Detroit, Lansing and Ann Arbor and will use the statue of limitations as part of your vigorous defense.

Michigan Criminal Trial Lawyers providing A Statute Of Limitations Defense

For a free consultation to discuss how a Michigan criminal defense lawyer from Grabel & Associates can help you, call us toll-free at 1-800-342-7896, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or you can use the contact form on this website to Email our law firm.

Client Reviews

If you are reading these reviews you are about to make a decision that will have a large impact on the rest of your life. I choose Grabel and Associates to represent me in my case and I could not have been more satisfied with the level of professionalism and dedication to their clients. I had the opportunity to meet and work with multiple lawyers in the practice all of which showcased a vast knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the legal system. When you choose Scott Grabel to represent you will open yourself up to all of his resources. Depending on your case Grabel knows experts in all fields. I worked with polygraph examiners, investigators, and forensics experts. Grabel and Associates will defend without prejudice of innocence or guilt. Scott Grabel was able to lead me through every step of the process with great communication the whole way. I would recommend Scott Grabel and Associates to my friends, family and anyone who is in need of representation. B. A.
Best attorney in state of Michigan. Caring and a true friend. Scott was with us every step of the way. He fought for a great injustice for our son and was able to provide an outcome that gave his life back. L. A.
Scott and his firm did an awesome job representing a family member of mine, I would highly recommend him and his firm! They were extremely reliable, trustworthy and very informative and did a great job with the case. I couldn't be happier with the results that we received, I can't speak highly enough about the great job he did. If you are thinking about using his firm, I would highly recommend, I would definitely use his firm again if needed, he is an a great attorney with a great firm, you won't be disappointed! M. F.