Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Texas Statute of Limitations

Several cases have come into the office recently in which the statute of limitations (SOL) was a big question for the client. An expunction case, for instance, might not be ripe for filing until the SOL has expired.  Potential clients often ask why the prosecutors took so long to indict them and whether the delay can help their defense. 

In general, the limitations period is the time within which the government may file criminal charges against a person. The SOL for felonies is different than that for misdemeanors. Furthermore, there are circumstances when the limitations period is not running . . . like when the accused person is absent from the state . . . or after a person is indicted and the indictment is pending. In Texas, the statute of limitations is governed by Article 12.01 et seq. of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.  Following are some examples of limitations periods for common criminal charges in Texas.

There are no statutes of limitation for murder, manslaughter, and certain sexual crimes involving children.  The limitations period is ten (10) years  for certain theft cases involving real estate, theft by a public servant, forgery, injury to elderly or disabled persons, and sexual assaults not involving children.  

For misapplication of fiduciary property, securing the execution of government documents by fraud, and identity theft the SOL is seven (7) years.  For other theft charges, robbery, kidnapping, and burglary the limitations period is five (5) years. For all other felonies the SOL is three (3) years and for any misdemeanor the limitations period is two (2) years.  

Finally, the day on which the offense was committed and the day on which an indictment or information was presented is excluded from the computation of time.  

155 comments:

bernie said...

Good Day;
I just recently got out of prison for [being very stupid] d.w.i. thank God no-one got hurt. I had my travel [sleeps 6-ind.] trailer stolen by Connie Borderlon on 04/05/2005. Just found out. Can I still do something about this? Am I still in the window of "Texas Statute of Limitations"? This happened in Fort Worth, TX. I could really....really...use your help.
Thank You so much...for letting me take up your valuable time.
B. Trivalos [920-344-2272]. I live in Muskego, WI. and have no job or money. So this could be a big help for me if I can recover this trailer or her. [Connie Borderlon].

Stephen Gustitis said...

Bernie: Please contact law enforcement having jurisdiction over this alleged theft. They will investigate and present the case to the prosecutors to determine whether any action can be taken. Thanks for reading my blog.

Anonymous said...

If someone was arrested on a misdemeanor drug charge, then released on a pr bond but left the state for 5 years, is it still possible for that person to go to court?

Stephen Gustitis said...

If a misdemeanor complaint was filed in court before the statute of limitations (SOL) expired, then yes, the case is still "alive" and the prosecutor can pursue it. That decision would be based on other factors, as well, like the availability of witnesses, evidence preservation, etc. If an official charge (complaint) was not filed in court, and if the SOL has expired, then the State will have a difficult time prosecuting the case since the prosecution may be barred by the SOL.

Anonymous said...

Does the SOL still apply if a complaint was filed then the case was dismissed? In other words, can the State refile the same complaint more than 10 years later and not worry about the SOL because they filed one originally?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Each criminal case has it's statute of limitations. The filing of a complaint/indictment/etc. typically tolls the statute, depending on state law. That is, as long as the complaint is on file with the county clerk, the SOL is not running. If the complaint is dismissed, the SOL begins to run again. If the statute runs out before the government tries to re-file the case, the SOL should bar any further prosecution of the case. Please consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.

Anonymous said...

So as an out-of-state student from TN, going to school I Houston tx, I was pulled over 35 time in 1 year by Harris co for no reason. Just for driving the car I did. Long story short on the last arrest I was forced down on the pavement for resisting arrest. The evading was dropped and my fine was 800.00. I returned home after graduating and -ever paid the fine.... is there a s.o.l. for this? What should I do to correct this? Thanx.....

Stephen Gustitis said...

If you were assessed a fine, you must pay the fine. The statute of limitations does not effect a charge for which you already plead guilty, or not contest.

Anonymous said...

If spousal rape occured for 2 yrs with no criminal charge filed, but divorce court issued protective order against rapist, & therapy / medication records exist for treatment of victim, can charges still be filed within the 10 yr SOL? Or does SOL only apply from the date charges are actually filed with law enforcement?

Stephen Gustitis said...

The statute of limitations for any particular criminal offense typically begins on the day of the alleged criminal act. If the SOL has not expired on a particular offense, the case can be prosecuted within the exclusive discretion of the State prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

What is the statute of limitations defense against an exwife that sues for post divorce division of property nine years later, arguing that she never received what was due to her in the divorce decree.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Sir. You need to consult a divorce attorney in the state having jurisdiction over this matter. Thank you for writing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your prompt response. Allow me to clarify..The exwife is suing in Texas for property that was once owed in Texas. The property was sold five years after the divorce.

Anonymous said...

I was arrested in TX for resisting arrest (class A) and marijuana (class B), I went to both arraignments and pled not guilty. I did not go to trial. Does the SOL apply to this? Can I not be prosecuted after 2 years of the incident or my court date?

Marcos said...

I was arrested for(an bailed out)a class b misdemeanor theft in august 2008. I committed this crime in early 2007. So it's been 3 years since I did crime and 2years since I bailed out. Still nothing. Does s.o.l. apply?

Anonymous said...

If i signed for 6 years probation for aggravated assault in travis county in 2005. And i absconded in 2010 does the statue of limitation still in effect? if so when or how long?

Anonymous said...

Hello, I need some clarification. I had two checks stolen, and written in Sept. 2008. The county attorney contacted me in March 2010. I have refused to pay them, and in the meantime they have filed a warrant, for a Class B Misdemeanor. I was told there was a two year SOL. Can I get this dismissed or can they still try to prosecute me?

Anonymous said...

say I was a meth buyer and have been clean for 4 months and am on felony probation for fraud would it seem fessible for the da of a big city to tell someone that has other charges against them that they would be building a case against me? ive been freaking out about this for along time just looking for peace of mind

Anonymous said...

According to an attorney's office who has been retained by the City of Dallas, they are attempting to collect on a fine for a traffic citation issued in 2004. Is there a statute of limitations on the attempt to collect on the fine?

Anonymous said...

My father just got sentenced to Life in Prison for agg.sex.ass.my step sister put the charges against him on Dec 12 2008..we hired an attorney and she did not represent him good..had him to pled guilty when he wasnt.my step sister said he did this to her from the age of 5-22..but yes she didnt file this till after her 28th birthday.i have read many pages and Statute of Limitaions ran out on Nov 8 2008 which was her 28th birthday..but we were denied a new trail..what can i do to show the TEXAS STATUTE OF LIMITATION RAN OUT ,help.i have put in for an APPEAL..what is next my dad is 61 and not in good health

Anonymous said...

The city of Austin has a code enforcement department. we recieved a notice of violation for building without a permit for things that were done before we owned the home,a carpoprt that was installed in 1983 and a garage conversion from 1969. The city states they have no record of a permit for either and are threatening to file Misdeminor charges aginst us if we do not run down and get a building permit.

Does the SOL of 2 years apply here?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Probably. I'd talk to a local defense lawyer who can examine the code and alleged violations to determine what SOL applies, whether it has expired, or whether it has been "tolled" until the present. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I had two drug felony charges back in 2008 and everytime I called my lawyer he said case was still pending and they were checking evidence. does the statute of limitations apply to my case?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Thanks for writing. The statute of limitations (SOL) applies to most criminal cases. Whether your case can benefit from the SOL depends on many factors, the most important of which is whether an indictment was ever filed. Any indictment will "toll" the SOL from running and keep your case "alive" indefinitely. There may be other legal issues, like your constitutional right to speedy trial, in play. But the best person to ask is your lawyer. They will know the facts better than me and they'll be able to more precisely answer your questions.

Anonymous said...

I purchased and used work supplies without notifying my supervisor. She found out and I admitted to the supplies that I had used, which totaled approx $20-25. She then questioned some other supplies and said I had also taken those. I did not take them but I do not have proof to show her otherwise. She gave me a choice to quit or be terminated. I have worked for this company for a long time and this was the only instance this happened. My concern is: now that I have quit, can she still proceed with the investigation and file charges and if so, what kind of charges should I expect?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Anon: Yes, your supervisor can still file charges with the police. From the facts you described, my educated guess on the charges would be theft. But there might be others, depending upon the facts of the case. Please remember that EVERYTHING you say, to ANYONE (except your lawyer) can be used by the prosecution to prove the charges against you.

wouldnt u said...

hello ,
I got charge with a theft 1500 in dallas county in 2000. I served a 3 yr probation and it was regular probation that i was given. I completed probation and have not been in any trouble since. i plead guilty for that charge and i do kow im not able to expunge. What are my options. Is there a statue of limitaion >? plz help

Stephen Gustitis said...

wouldn't u:
Assuming your probation resulted in a conviction, your only option is to apply for a pardon, obtain the pardon from the governor, and then apply for an expunction. Thank you for your question.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I am curious regarding how the SOL applies to a certain case. The defendant was charged with Agg Assault w/A deadly weapon, and gave a statement indicating that he/she was acting under the "Good Samaritan Act". Again, there was a charge, then bond was posted, and it has been almost 2 1/2 years, and still there remains no further activity. How long must h/she wait before comfortably knowing that everything is "in the clear" regarding the SOL? Dallas County, TX. Thanks!

Stephen Gustitis said...

The SOL for aggravated assault in Texas is three (3) years from the date of the commission of the offense. Generally, an indictment/information/complaint must be filed within the SOL, or the filing is barred. There are occasionally exceptions to this general rule. Thanks for posting a comment.

Anonymous said...

Dallas County TX Court records show I was charged with Fraud Use/Possession of Identifying Information Sept 2005 (and I KNOW I dont possess anything at all)..there was a series of me going back and forth to court. And in the end my atty would go to court instead of me having to. The last time I went to court was sometime in mid-2006 and I think he was trying to get the charge dismissed but what's odd is that the case is still showing pending after all these years! I would like to know what I can do to get my life back. I've never been in any trouble in my life. Can this be thrown out or expire? Please help!!

BOB said...

WE OWNED A PROPERTY IN HOUSTON UNDER AN OUT OF STATE LLC. WHEN SOLD, CERTAIN MONIES WERE RELEASED WITH THE SALES AGREEMENT FOR A REQUESTED MAINTENANCE PROVISION. THE NEW OWNERS KEPT THE SAME MANAGEMENT CO. WE HAD USED. NOW, SIX YEARS LATER, WE ARE BEING SUED ALONG WITH THE MANAGEMENT CO. FOR SOMEONE NOT USING THOSE FUNDS FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE. CAN WE BE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR WILL THE SOL RELEASE US FROM HAVING ANY LIABILITY IN THE CASE.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Anonymous: You'll need to check with your attorney to determine the status of your Dallas County criminal matter. Thank you for commenting.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Bob:
You have described a civil matter, of which I know little. Your best course of action would be to contact and consult with a lawyer well versed in civil matters. Nonetheless, thank you for leaving a comment.

rick said...

Good Morning.
I had a Felony case of Injury to Minor against me 12 yrs ago. as it was my First offence i got 1 yr Probation, did community service, it is all cleared. it happened in the years i had a job which i had for the next 10 yrs. now I don't and i am in the process of Getting a New Job. will it show up in a back ground check. will it effect my ability to get a good job.
Rick

Anonymous said...

Our daughter was accused by someone of food stamp fraud but never received the food stamps at that time. The complaint was filed in 4/08 stating SEDD 1,500. It has just been filed with the court on 08/26/11. On 8/12/11 it went to the Grand Jury without her knowlege and was Disposed as NBIL.How do we help her get that off her record. It shows up under Criminal background check.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Rick: If you never got the records expunged or sealed, then I would expect the records to show-up somewhere. Whether it affects your ability to get a job will depend upon the potential employer and how they view such matters. Thanks for commenting, though.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Anon: It appears the case was "no-billed" by the grand jury. Assuming the prosecutors do not present it to a subsequent grand jury for indictment, your daughter may be eligible to get the arrest records expunged after the statute of limitations expires on the particular charge. I'd confer with a criminal defense lawyer in your community to get a better idea when a petition for expungement might be filed. Thanks for your question.

Anonymous said...

If a man took a plea of a burglary of a home, But really it was not him, but a close friend, The reason he took the plea is because of an oath of we don't snitch, But later in his life has endured not being able to get a good job, or join the army because of the offense, and now wants the friend to make it right, what can be done, and what are the possible consequences of such

Stephen Gustitis said...

Anon: I doubt anything can be done. The person who took the plea, entered a plea of guilty, in open court, and voluntarily. Probably cannot undo what has already been done.

Anonymous said...

If 15 years ago I had several returned checks in TX that went to the Justice of the Peace and the County Attorney and worked on paying off those checks but did not finish, what are the chances that they filed for a warrant? And would the statue of limitations apply now?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Contact the sheriff in the county in which this occurred. Ask them whether there is a warrant pending for your arrest. Please consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer to investigate your options, including a claim the SOL has expired.

Anonymous said...

Anon
Apparently someone using my name and birthday got 3 tickets 18 years ago. I was contacted 3 months ago saying I owe $1400 because of these tickets. Problem is I moved out of state 2 years prior. The court sent me copies of the tickets and the address is unknown to me and the signature is not mine. 1st I want to know what is the S.O.L. for tickets and fines? 2nd how can I prove that the tickets were not issued to me without actual proof?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Hire an experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer in the community where these tickets occurred. Tell your lawyer to enter pleas of not guilty and set the tickets for for trial. Then see what your attorney can work out with the prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

If a shooting was determined to be accidental and the person who got shot dies 5 years later. Can charges still be brought against the other person involved?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Charges could possibly be filed. It depends upon many facts and circumstances which were not revealed in your comment. The decision would ultimately be upon the prosecutor in the particular jurisdictions.

Anonymous said...

My mother died due to medical negligence 18 yrs ago ....I was 10 yrs of age at the time and knew nothing of this matter...I am now 29 and just found these things out....am I able to pursue a lawsuit now since its new information to me?

Kilroy said...

I am reading through some of these ridiculous "what if" scenarios... LOL...!

I am somewhat confused because I tend to overthink things. If someone is formally charged, but not indicted, with a class A misdemeanor, is that when SOL begins? Or does that formal charge negate the statute? I read that it begins when a complaint is first made and I am not sure if "complaint" and "case" are one and the same in this instance.

Anonymous said...

When I was a teen, I was peer pressured into stealing internally from my workplace. I was suspended from work due to suspicion, but never decided to confess until now, 13 years later. Can my old employer still press charges?

Stephen Gustitis said...

The state can prosecute if the statute of limitations has not expired. I don't know enough about your situation to determine whether the SOL expired yet, or not. Please consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer to help you answer your question more precisely.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Kilroy:
The statute of limitations begins at the moment an offense is committed. A person must be formally charged with the crime within the SOL time limits. When a person is formally charged, the SOL stops running. If the formal charge is dismissed, the SOL begins to run again until it expires. I hope this helps.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Anon: Please consult with a civil litigation attorney to determine if you can file a law suit. Thank you for your question.

Anonymous said...

I am an owner of a unit in a texas condo. Another homeowner illegally towed my car in sept 2008. (Only a member of the board of directors of the hoa can authorize such tows). I called the police and they accepted a charge of stolen vehicle. The president of the board of directors in 2008 refused to give me the identity of the person who had made the call to the towing company. Since then, the president had problems and resigned. That resigned president this past year finally verbally informed me the identity of the man who had called the towing company and had the car towed. I have not pursued the case, but would like to. In 2008, I did not pursue it because I had lost a child at the time this guy had my car towed, I was devestated at the time. I am now in much better position to handle pursuing this. The question is: is the statute of limitations on this matter up so that I cannot, or can I still press criminal charges against this guy. (This is not the only thing he has done, he has a long history of things against me, but he has always been such a coward that he normally gets another person to do his dirty work. In the car tow case, it appears the president told him she would not make the phone call to the tow compnay, so he did it himself. And he was not on the board of directors, making the tow illegal.
Thanks for any advice of the SOL.

Anonymous said...

I have a question In 1993 I had paid my court fes and fine in full in cash. since then I moved in 1993 to ohio . They are now saying I still owe 609.00 in which I have no reciept for due to it being over 19 years old . This was a minor misdiminor DUI what is the statue Of limitations on this . and why would persue this . I wont pay for it twice what can be done .

Anonymous said...

12 yrs ago charged with contributing to minors( college party). Charge was changed to littering and heard nothing else about the offense. Since then been mobilized for homeland security, deployed to Iraq, and even issued a CCDW permit. I recently pawned a firearm, went to get it back and was denied. Received a letter to surrender ccdw. Reason of denial stems from charges 12 yrs ago. Please help.

Anonymous said...

Just curious I got put on two years misdemeanor probation back in 2004 for weed charge but been out of state since 2012 does sol work for my case it happen in texarkana texas

Stephen Gustitis said...

Anon:
Nope. The statute of limitations does not apply to your case anymore. As long as the state filed within the SOL, the prosecution is not barred for the SOL.

Stephen Gustitis said...

You may be eligible for an expungement of your contributing alcohol to a minor arrest if a final conviction never occurred. Please contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer in the area to discuss this issue in more detail.

Anonymous said...

I am being charged with food stamp fraud that is dating back from 2005 because I failed to report that I had a felony conviction in 2000.the case has just shown up 2/8/12 in the DA office. I have not been indicted yet.has the statue of limitations ran out yet.This is in Texas in Ector county. Your opinion please.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Please hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer in your jurisdiction to evaluate this matter for you. Thank you for commenting.

Anonymous said...

i was just wondering i got arrested about 4 years ago for possession of a controlled substance getting close to 4 years ago... i was in jail for a day and bonded out i never went to cort or anything yet but i still have to call and check in.. is there anything i can do about this since its past the 3 years or do i just ride it out?

Anonymous said...

I've been on probation for maybe 4 yrs without reporting but I've been in no trouble but this is what I want to know why hasn't there a hold on my name when I served for traffic tickets(it is felony probation)does (sol)apply to my situation?

Anonymous said...

I was arrested and bailed out july 3 years ago for distribution of pot my lawyer and my bail bonds have tried and can no longer find a case number out anything does the 3 years apply to me?

Anonymous said...

In 2005 I wrote a confession of theft for an employer. I was laid off because of it and am wondering can it come back to haunt me. I am now applying for a position with a police force. I am not sure if any formal charges were brought up against me. I have not heard of anything relating to this matter. Is there a way I can find out. I am in Texas. Thanks.

mark said...

stephen,

I got arrested for felony 3 impediment of breath. bogus charge. I was going to to apply to medschool in May. Not any more.No matter what i Cannot have anything on my record to get in. I want to apply in the future. If not i will be devastated. What exact possible outcomes of this case can I achieve for to get this off my record completely. so I can move on with my life?
thankyou

Anonymous said...

I just found out that I have a warrant for my arrest because of some "hot-checks" written in July and August 2001. I know the statute of limitations on check fraud is 2 years for amounts less than 1500.00. The total face value of the checks I am being accused of writing is less than 400.00 total. I have been told by the district attorney my cost will be nearly 1400.00. Being that it was over a decade ago, I have no record or memory with which to defend myself. Do I have any recourse? According to the district attorney this took place in Abilene, Texas. I currently live in Anchorage, Alaska, and have for the past 11 years. The warrant was issued in January 2002. Do I have any choice but to pay the penalties?

Anonymous said...

My son was indicted of a felony he did not commit 3 years ago; everytime we go to court it is reset; he's been on a monitor for 3 years now and still nothing. The prosecution simply does not have any evidence what can we do a d does SOL apply? He is not allowed to go anywhere but to check in with his probation officer; we have paid his attorney over 15k but he has done nothing.

dbos62004 said...

I committed a class A theft four years ago but was never taking to jail. I was never been to court nor even given a ticket but it shows up when i apply for jobs what should i do???

Anonymous said...

In 2004 I was cought stealing and put on probation in Texas. I eventually left the state and been in California for over 5 yrs. Justlast week I received a letter from Texas stating I have abscounded and need to return to texas to handle this legal matter. My question is , after more than 8 years later why barely now are they contacting me? Does Sol affect this? And yes there's more, I am currently on probation here in California and have notified my po of this matter. Please advise. Thank you for your time.

Anonymous said...

In the state of TX if a attempt murder charge was made in 1995, is there a statutory limitation? 16 yrs. Later can the DA still prosecute?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Pursuant to Article 12.03 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, there is NO statute of limitations for murder or attempted murder.

Stephen Gustitis said...

If a person leaves Texas during the running of the Statute of Limitations (SOL), the SOL stops running. That is called "tolling of the statute."

Stephen Gustitis said...

If your theft case was never prosecuted, you may be eligible for an expungement of those records. Please contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer in your area and discuss this important issue with them.

Anonymous said...

About 20 years ago my friend and I were at his house alone. We were both going throught that "stage" and started talking about girls and things like that. We later started to masterbate in the same roome. He was 1 years younger then me. I was 14 and he was 13. We did not touch each, other, kiss, no penatration, no threats, no Anal activity, no oral activity. Nothing like that.. At all... Again this was 20 years ago. Is this something that could be looked at as doing something to a mInor? Is there a sol in this case? I looked up what the classifications are but every thing listed we did not do. This happened 1 time.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Your best course of action is to exercise your right to remain silent and never speak of this incident again. There are certain offenses that have no statute of limitations, and the facts you described may contain one, or more, of them. Don't make statements that incriminate yourself. Remain silent and request a lawyer if you are ever asked about it. This is a very conservative approach, but legally sound.

Carl Davis, Jr. said...

Is there a SOL between time of indictment and arraignment? I was charged with POCS in 2006 and was recently arraigned in March of 2012. Is this a civil rights violation, and can I file for a motion to dismiss based on the amount of time between arraignment and indictment?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Mr. Davis: Thank you for your question. In fact, upon indictment the SOL stopped running, provided the case was indicted before the SOL expired. Any delay between indictment and arraignment may implicate speedy trial rights. Please consult with your attorney to resolve this matter and better understand the issues involved. Depending upon the circumstances, you may have a constitutional claim on this basis.

Anonymous said...

In July 2010 I was terminated from my job as a teller. Reason being a shortage of 20,000 dollars but was never prosecuted or indicted for it. Cameras 6 cameras looking at me show no tampering on my part, but 5 other people had access to the vault. I was the main money controller, does the institution still have the right to prosecute?

Stephen Gustitis said...

If the prosecutor can prove you took the money without the consent of the owner, yes you can still be prosecuted.

JRM said...

I just received a letter in the mail today from Deaf Smith County (Hereford TX) stating that I have an "Outstanding Warrant" for the offense of Theft by Check. I called the number on the letter since i do not recall writing a check that would become an issue. The person on the line stated I had written two checks in 1995 totaling $89.67. I asked for a copy of the checks and they offered to fax it to me. I do not recall having issues with checks. I used to live there in Hereford, TX. She stated the warrant is active and stated that if I didn't pay they would arrest me in El Paso, TX. I asked if the warrant was active, then why I was not arrested when I was pulled over for speeding a few years ago. Is there a statute e of limitations and what should I do?

JRM said...

I just received a letter in the mail today from Deaf Smith County (Hereford TX) stating that I have an "Outstanding Warrant" for the offense of Theft by Check. I called the number on the letter since i do not recall writing a check that would become an issue. The person on the line stated I had written two checks in 1995 totaling $89.67. I asked for a copy of the checks and they offered to fax it to me. I do not recall having issues with checks. I used to live there in Hereford, TX. She stated the warrant is active and stated that if I didn't pay they would arrest me in El Paso, TX. I asked if the warrant was active, then why I was not arrested when I was pulled over for speeding a few years ago. Is there a statute e of limitations and what should I do?

Stephen Gustitis said...

JRM: You need to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer in that local area to assist you. After investigating the facts of your case, your attorney should be able to answer your question about the statute of limitations. I do not have enough facts to answer your question with precision.

Anonymous said...

1)Generally how long does it take to issue a warrant once the state has filed an information? I was just arrested for a class B misdemeanor warrant stemming from an incident in Sep 2009. Less than 6 months ago I received a traffic violation in the same county from the sherrif and wasnt arrested when they ran my license hence I tend to think the warrant was recently issued. 2) If an arrest warrant is issued/served on a case that has exceeded the SoI is that grounds for civil recourse? Thanks for a very informative site.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Typically, prosecutors issue arrest warrants before an information is filed, but not always. Additionally, if an information was filed anytime before the statute of limitation (SOL) expired, the SOL stops running. In other words, the SOL is tolled upon the filing of an information. The fact the police did not pick up an arrest warrant during a traffic stop is not uncommon. I've seen it before. Your best course of action is to hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. Deactivate your social Internet accounts, like Facebook and MySpace. Speak to NO ONE about your case, except your lawyer.

Anonymous said...

GOT A MUNICIPAL COURT NOTICE TODAY 15 YEARS LATER THAT I OWE FOR A TICKET... IM CONFUSED>? IVE LVIED HERE THE LAST 15 YEARS AND HAVE HEARD NOTHING ABOUT THIS.. ANY RECOURSE?

Stephen Gustitis said...

If the ticket was filed within the statute of limitations, then you have no SOL argument. However, there may be other issues in play, like the right to a speed trial. But only a lawyer can tell. Hire a qualified lawyer if you want this issue fully investigated.

Anonymous said...

My granddaughter hired a wedding consultant and entered into a contract. she has given the consultant a few thousand dollars and the consultant says she has hired entertainment, and paid for other deposits, etc. But, will not tell my granddaughter the names of the people or places she's contracted. My granddaughter looked up her past and she has done this to many different people. One lady sued her and won, but it's a judgement and the consultant simply did not pay. Can my granddaughter sue criminally under misuse of fiduciary property and ask the other brides who were stolen from to join the suit? Does this fall under the 7 year SOL, misuse of fiduciary property ? Thank you.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Lawsuits for damages are not a criminal matter. If your granddaughter wants to consider filing criminal charges, she needs to contact the local police and make a report. The prosecutor will make the decision whether the statute of limitations bars any prosecution. Thanks for writing.

Trifork said...

A certain person has been threatening for the past year to accuse my husband of sexually abusing her 9 year old son back in 1994. My husband was 16 years old at the time, and this is ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. THERE IS NO DNA, OR ANY OTHER KIND OF EVIDENCE. I'm just wondering if they can actually take this to court after so much time has passed. According to my own research, it looks like the statute of limitations for this type of accusation would expire 10 years after the alleged victims 18th birthday. Is this correct, or was the law different 18 years ago?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Only a qualified criminal defense lawyer can answer your question AFTER an investigation into the alleged facts of this case. I recommend your husband ABSOLUTELY remain silent about this issue and speak with a qualified lawyer. The easiest way for a prosecutor to win a case is using the accused person's own words. Please have your husband speak with a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone reads this any more, but here's the situation.
I was charged with burglary of a building, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication, most of which I completed.
My Probation officer then retired, and I was never contate or re-assigned. 6 years have passed since then, with no notifications from the city, no visits from police officers, nothing. The charge is still there, as well as an active warrant. I plan on paying the remaining sum of my fines (Something paltry, around 400$) , but I have no idea how to handle this without contacting law enforcement and putting my livelihood in peril (I have a wife and children now).
This happened when I was 18 years old... I do not want to pay for something I've already suffered through once.
Any help would be appreciated.

Stephen Gustitis said...

You need to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer to assist you. With their help, you can take all the steps possible to improve your position in this matter. I can only speculate on possible outcomes, and that does not help you. Hiring an attorney is the best solution. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

How does the statute of limitations apply if an employer has surveillance of employees taking money from the register(probably less than 50-100 from several employees); this was back in 2008 and all those employees already left since 2008. Can the videos be used as evidence to still bring a case to prosecute them in 2012? Or can there be no case since it was 5 years ago and the SOL time has expired? There was never a case filed in 2008 against them.

Stephen Gustitis said...

The state must file an indictment within the statute of limitations. Some factors may "toll" the statute of limitations, but only a qualified criminal defense lawyer familiar with the facts of this case can tell you for sure.

Jon said...

Stephen,
Your blog has been helpful as I research some things on SOL in Texas. A buddy and I broke into a grocery store and stole some beer about 14 years ago. Since then I have turned my life around. I want to contact the store to pay for damages and "make amends" but am concerned that they could still prosecute. From an initial study of this, it seems time is on my side and the SOL has expired. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

My 17 year old son was charged with misdemanor charges of poss less than 2 oz in texas. We do not live in Texas, he is considered a minor in our state. I called the clerk, among others, to find out what to do. They claimed his name was not in the system. We only had 20 days to get deferred disposition and i called and called. Now 4 months later, I get an order for him to appear. This does not seem right, nor can he miss high school classes and pay travel expenses for him to return. He was charged with poss of something in another persons car, a person he barely knew because his car broke down. The officers only spoke Spanish amd my child does not speak amy spanish. I feel i need to file charges disputing this arrest, No attorney in Texas will touch it with us being so far away. With this minor of a charge, is he better off just not going? They already have my bond money. Amd they shouldnt have that. When he turns 18 will it be filed away, just lime it happens in our state? Or will it remain open?

Anonymous said...

Deferred adjucation is such BS! You need to file a
Motion to have have your case closed. Try that beforee you spend money on an attorney. You cam file it at county clerks office and not deal with any officers.
That is a problem for everyone who does deferred adjucation, not just those whose probation officer quits. Its a way for the state to make even more money, after u habe paid them a fortune

Anonymous said...

My ex husband has a misdameor warrant for back child support in the amount of over 68,00.00. I just got off the phone with the county that has the warrant and they have said they can not arrest him if he is in the house and they say he is not. The only way they could do so is if it was a felony warrant. I am wanting to know can I file a felony warrant for him even if the AG has the warrant?
Thanks

Stephen Gustitis said...

Only the police/prosecutors can control the type of warrant issued for someone. If the charge is for a misdemeanor, then a misdemeanor warrant will issue. The same is true for a felony.

Stephen Gustitis said...

If your son has a pending criminal case in Texas, I recommend finding a qualified criminal defense lawyer willing to accept the case. Not going to court is NOT a good option.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Thank you for using my blog posts to help understand legal issue important to you. I would never advise someone to admit the commission of a crime. The SOL is tricky business. If you admitted guilty, and then found out the SOL had been "tolled," you'd be in serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

Hello, in 1996 i came out from california to visit family in el paso, tx where i grew up. I rented a car in el paso and got in a car accident for which i was not at fault and no known injuries. The cop gave me a ticket for not having insurance even tho i was in a rental and all rentals automatically have minimum liability. I had to go back to ca and a relative was supposed to go to court and tell them it was rental, the court said they could run the plates and tell if it was a rental, but my relative never went. I never paid because the cop was in error and i was not spending the money to pay an unlawful citation or to visit tx just to fix this. I have not been back to tx since because i think i have a warrant. is there a sol on the citation? Is there a sol on the warrant? will this show up on a background check if i still live in ca? Thx

Anonymous said...

Hi I am being charged with misdemeanor escape. It has been 14 years. What do I need to do to resolve this matter?

Anonymous said...

14 years ago I was charged with misdemeanor escape. What do I need to do to resolve this matter. Or is there a statute of limitations on this charge?

Anonymous said...

also, how do i get the citation cleared w/o paying it. One lawyer i consulted who was supposed to clear it said to just pay it, even tho im innocent. (i dont have any paperwork on this stuff either) Thank you

Anonymous said...

What is the statues of limitations in texas for a bad check amount under $50, also what is the statue of limitations for the warrant to be issued for that check? I found out by getting a traffic speed warning i had a warrant. The check itself was written over 20 yrs ago, however the warrant wasnt issued until December 2012, some 20 years later. The arresting officer couldnt get verification from issuing county, they had no hard copy. So the officer kindly let me go, considering the statue had long run out on the check some 17 yrs before the warrant was even issued in 2012. I know once a warrant is issued there is no statues of limitations on warrants, but my concern is wasnt the SOL time already in effect before warrant was even issued?
Any help you can offer is apreciated.
I am afraid to call for fear of being arrested.
thank you,
"Running scared"

Darrell Paris said...

I was arrested in july of 2008 and charged with domestic violence, which was a result of not giving my side of the story to an investigator. I received a fine and differed judacation. I have check the state registry and there is nothing there. in august of 2012 my wife and I were arguing in the yard and the police were called. due to a skin condition the officer thought I had strangled her and was arrested. Is there a staute of limitations on the prior? I ask because the DA may drop the charges and file new ones based on the 2008 arrest.

Darrell Paris said...

In july of 2008 I was arrested when I didn't followup with an investigation to an outdoor arguement with my wife. I received a misdemeanor and differed judacation. August 2012 again my wife and I were co-combatants in an arguement. I was bleeding and she didn't have a scratch. But due to a skin condition she has she get splotchy, which she explaind to officers. The officers arrested me and I was charged with felony assault by stranglation. My wife has told them as well as witnesses that I didn't. The DA has mentioned that they may drop this charge and file another based on the prior. is there SOL on the misdemeanor.

Anonymous said...

I was charged but released without being arrested for theft as class b misdemeanor. The officer says he is filing a warrant. How long do i have before its an active warrant and is there a time limit he has to file charges?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Mr. Paris: There is a statute of limitations for most criminal offenses. For misdemeanors the statute is 2 years from the date of offense. Some things toll the statute, so I cannot say exactly when the statute expires in your case without investigating the facts myself.

Stephen Gustitis said...

An officer interested in obtaining a warrant for your arrest does not have a deadline for obtaining the warrant. However, there are other deadlines (like the SOL) that encourage officers to get their work done more quickly. It is hard to say how long it will take in your case, unfortunately. Weeks or even months. It is out of your control.

Anonymous said...

Charges have been filed & a warrant has been issued at $0. It is a felony charge which falls under the 3 year SOL, from my understanding. I've hired legal representation. My main question is, if Im in Texas for those 3 years & never arrested, once the 3 years pass, are my charges dropped? Due to the SOL on this case.

How does this work with the warrant & charge after the 3 years are up? If I've never been in custody or questioned?

Something that ive been concerned about.
I really appreciate your time, it would help alot.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

My brother was charged with felony aggravated robbery. The incident happened may 2000. The warrant was issued December 2000. My brother has been in jail since November 2000 in TDCJ custody. He is scheduled for release April 2013. Dallas County put a detainer on him for the December 2000 warrant. Can they do that? Doesn't he have the right to a fast and speedy trial? It's been 13 years.

Stephen Gustitis said...

If you've hired legal counsel, please direct your questions to your lawyer. They are in a better position to answer questions with precise and accurate answers.

Stephen Gustitis said...

If your brother was actually indicted for the robbery within the statute of limitations, the SOL does not help him. There may be other issues, like speedy trial, that might be in play. The important thing to understand is that those issues are different, although related. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can help your brother.

Anonymous said...

I just recived a notice from a third party law firm stating i had a ticket from 05 for walking on a highway/ road with no sidewalk. Its asking me to enter a plea. From 8 years ago. Im i obligated to pay this?

Anonymous said...

I got a ticket when I was 16 (2002) for passing a school bus. I just got a hearing notice in juvenile court for 06/21/2013. What is the statute of limitations for juvenile moving violations? And do I have the right to "discovery" in juvenile court? Can I call to get a copy of the filed complaint?

Anonymous said...

If i have a warrant in lubbock county for misdemeanor theft less than $500 (not sure which class) and the "theft" occured May 2011 is the SOL up as of 6/1/13? I unkowingly bought a stolen product from someone and ended up selling it because i needed money for bills. Not sure if a warrant tolls the SOL. They can't give me any info over the phone at all and I live 300miles away and work 6days a week so its hard trying to get over there.

Anonymous said...

At the age of 17 I was involved in an altercation with an older woman , at the age of 19 I was charged. I was never informed of a court date, actually found out about the charge when I was arrested for a traffic warrant. Is there anything I can do to fight against this?

Katyalani Michelle said...

During my marriage, my ex-husband and I open some credit cards online (therefore no actual signature). After I filed for a divorce, he started to say that he never opened the accounts. He has stated in the past that he would use this in court anytime he didn't like what was going on with our son. He never filed these cards as fraudulent and to my knowledge he has made payments on them. The divorce decree states that he was responsible for debts including and not limited to credit card. He also gave me a letter stating that all credit card debt was cleared.

My question now is; I plan to move out of state, and no that he will try to do anything to stop me. Is there a SOL on filing these accounts as fraud, since I have no proof and neither does he (other than letter he wrote)? Should I be concerned that he may resort to this to keep myself and our son in TX?

Our divorce was final December 2007

Anonymous said...

Weird situation: When I was leaving for deployment almost 10 years ago, I left my car with some people to work on it while I was gone. When I returned, they could not be located and since I was young, I let the car go. Now Im thinking about it and I can probably locate it. It is too late to report a stolen car? (title is in my name)

Michael McDaniel said...

OK I recently found out that I have a hot check out in Lubbock county from 2000 and was never notified about this until now does the Sol still apply please contact me at 4797211132 thank u very much

Mitzi Renee said...

My next door neighbor is a legal immigrant living in Texas. He's been in the U.S. about 16 years or so. His wife & 3 children are u.s. citizens but he is here on a visa. He's a concrete worker. He got involved with the bad mojo on his job & was caught with cocaine. That was 1 1/2 years ago. They filed a complaint on the case but never brought it before a grand jury so it's just hanging in limbo. They appointed an attorney however that will not return his calls. His visa will expire in November and it's stressing him out really bad. He's a great neighbor, not a druggie in the usual since, really a family man that made a bad mistake & a great neighbor so I'm trying to help him out.

These are my questions:
1/ is there a limitation as to how long between the complaint phase & the indictment phase that the d.a. can take?
2/ how will this affect his immigration visa renewal?
3/ if i push him to get his citizenship, even if we get this dropped, will he be able to become an American citizen?

I am trying to help him find an attorney that will let him make payments on his immigration issues. Until then I'm just fishing for info. Thanks for helping all these people and us!

God bless

Stephen Gustitis said...

Mitzi:
Thank you for your question. The statute of limitations for a Texas cocaine case is 3 years from the date of offense, assuming the statute was not tolled for other reasons. A cocaine case will seriously and adversely effect his immigration status. He must hire a qualified immigration lawyer immediately. Depending upon the resolution of the cocaine case, he may not be eligible for citizenship. However, only the immigration attorney can tell you for sure. Good luck.

AmIllusions said...

I was arrested on 7/25/13 for a theft by check. It was classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. The check was from 1/28/2010. The check is over 3 years old. I never knew I had a warrant. What does not make sense is I work in different jails and I have cleared the national warrant database since 2011 but all of the sudden they file a warrant for me in 2/2012 for a check from 1\2010 (which was after the 2 year statue of limitations). Do I have grounds to fight this?

Anonymous said...

I was arrested on 7/25/13 for a theft by check. It was classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. The check was from 1/28/2010. The check is over 3 years old. I never knew I had a warrant. What does not make sense is I work in different jails and I have cleared the national warrant database since 2011 but all of the sudden they file a warrant for me in 2/2012 for a check from 1\2010 (which was after the 2 year statue of limitations). Do I have grounds to fight this?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Please hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer to assist you. Your lawyer can evaluate the facts, statute of limitations, and any tolling of the SOL. Please remain silent about this matter and speak ONLY to your lawyer. Thanks for your question.

Ginger Dewbre said...

i was arrested for theft of over 50 under 500 class b misdemeanor was let out on bond my ex fiance dropped my bond which had been payed in full got preagnant missed court and now have a warrant will they come and find me in a diffrent county and i want to take care of it just after i have the baby just dont wanna have it in jail . and what should i do will this go away after so long

Anonymous said...

i have a class b misdemeanor warrant for theft of more than 50 lower than 500$ im preagnat my ex fiance dropped my bond and i didnt show to court will they try and come and find me and with SOL will this warrant go away ? im trying to find more imformation can i try and wait this out untill the baby is born

Stephen Gustitis said...

Ginger: You must hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer to assist you with this case. There is nothing you can do alone to help your situation.

Anonymous said...

If I was charged with burglary of a habitation in March 2009 but am still currently on bond what's the statute of limitations

Stephen Gustitis said...

I don't know what state the burglary charge is from. Consequently, I can't tell you what the SOL is. Please refer this question to your criminal defense lawyer. They will be better positioned to accurately answer your question. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. My boyfriend was charged with AGG SEXL ASSLT in one county, He was then arrested in a county for an additional felony poss c/s charge. He has not been indicted on the agg sexl asslt charge and its been 7 months he has already been sentenced to tdcj from the other county and is awaiting to be transferred. what is the statute of limitation for this charge to be indicted without arraignment in that county

Stephen Gustitis said...

Please consult with a criminal defense lawyer in the county in which the charge remains pending. The statute of limitations depends on many factors which are unknown to me. The lawyer will inquire into many facts before explaining the statute and how it applies to this case. Thank you for your question.

Anonymous said...

I was pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. When asked if i had anything on me, i handed over what i had, less than 20 grams of marijuana. I was told by the officer and narcotics officer that i could either become an informant or go to jail. They said i have two weeks to decide. They never gave me a citation. I wasn't placed under arrest. A ticket wasn't written and i never signed anything. Is it possible for them to charge me with the class b misdemeanor two weeks after the encounter with no charges pressed at that time? They let me leave with nothing but a business card to contact the narcotic cop. No other documents, no court date, nothing.

Stephen Gustitis said...

You can absolutely be charged for the crime. Please hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately to help you. Time may be of the essence. Good luck.

CMC said...

hello, I was arrested in 2005 for a misdemeanor marijuana charge and pled guilty. since then I went to the army and served a yr in Afghanistan, and am now a full time student. When applying for a job after graduation, will that still be on my record when my background check is pulled? I heard the state of texas is hard to get things taken off... any help would be appreciated!!

Anonymous said...

good afternoon. . .I have a sister in texas and she just found out that the county she lives in has a warrant for her arrest from 2009 that just came across the desk of the law enforcement office of the county she lives in for food stamp fraud. the case was filed in 2006 (don't know what date) but the grand jury indicted her and the warrant just came up yesterday but it is from 2009. she has been working and this warrant was not in the system because her job would've found out about it plus she got a speeding ticket earlier this year so the warrant would've came up. we would like your input on this please sir

Anonymous said...

If a person was accused of a crime and indicted 4 yrs ago without knowledge of being accused or indicted until a yr after the indictment, he was pulled over for a traffic violation and arrested on that he since then had posted bail and been to numerious court hearings for 3 yrs. he plead not guilty and it has constantly been to court where they put him on docket for jury trial then they put it off and reset everything back to docket calls, status reports etc. every year the same thing. but still never ever goes through up to a jury trial. what can he do to put this case to rest. it has taken a toll on him financially from his job for missing days for court, to traveling expenses back in forth from one county to the county of court which is in Texas. Also, mentally draining him. Please need advice.

Anonymous said...

First of all, great and informative blog.

Will SOL Apply to a person arrested 6 years ago in Texas, on felony drug charges (21USC 841(a)(1)& 846), and released on bond but failed to appeared in court?

Thank you and have an amazing day!

P.S. Feels like Pro Bono Defense.

edwardwandre@aol.com said...

I sued my old company for back salary they sued me for fraud and theft in 2004 and they acknowledged that though I did not do it they stated they thought I did in 2005 can they sue me fraud in acountersut after 9 years is there a statute of limitations
Edwardwandre@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I was pulled over for a traffic violation and was given a warning but in the process my name came back as warrants for arrest. The officer said I had 2 misdemeanor tickets from 16 Yes ago and I want to jail and had to bond out. Is there a sol on this

Anonymous said...

My husband (boyfriend at time) and I were arrested for Arson 2 years ago. We didn't know about the fire until the next day, when family came to boyfriend house and told us. I wasn't sure what to do because I was renting the home. And did not have insurance of any kind. My sister said to call police depth and they tell you what to. They gave me fire cheif number and he said it was electrical. Days later I got a call from officer asking me where I was and why I haven't contacted anyone about fire and asked if we were running and told me he needed me to answer questions. We were Enterra gated at church for hours why pastern watched our children. I was told to sign a part for fire marchal. Months later was arrested for arrson then. I waa arrested again for 2 year old hot check for$ 53.00 after booked in I was interstates again for around 5 hours same officer. We have only been arrested and on bond. No court date or indictment has been set. I didn't even see a Jugde when I bonded out, my bond was set before arrested. Bond and Warrent was sighed by jp1

Anonymous said...

If an inmate is serving time in federal prison but was accused of a state crime prior to conviction, does the states SOL run while the inmate is serving fedral time out of state?

Anonymous said...

If it has been 2 years on a misdemeanor ticket for theft under $50 and I don't live in Texas never did line in Texas it wasn't even my fault. It happened in July of 2012 is the S.O.L. still 2 years? I thought it had been taken care of by my father said he paid the ticket come to find out he didn't. what does it mean for me?? Its been 2 years...

Stephen Gustitis said...

If the misdemeanor complaint was filed in the court within 2 years of the offense, the statute of limitations does not help you.

Marcela Ramirez said...

My family member applied for a appeal in the criminal courts system 4 years ago, he has been waiting to hear back abd had not heard anything so I looked into it and austin never received his appeal, but he has his paperwork. What can be done about this?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Marcela: Please contact the attorney who prepared and filed the appeal. They should be able to answer your question. Thank you for the question.

Dawn said...

In 2005 I signed a note(8214.60 interest included) for study guides with college network. I paid 24 of 60 payments(136.91 per mth) with the last payment made 4/2007. I returned their study guides unopened. The last contact I had with them was 5/23/2007. 2 days ago I received a call from a Barbara K Montgomery (844-428-6284)stating she was an attorney with the national arbitrators guild and if I didn't pay 13,920.96 by 11am yesterday she was going to file 36 felony counts of theft of services/theft by check charges, take my professional license, freeze my accounts, my exes and sons accounts (checking,401k) because they were on the checking account these payments came out of,and suspend all of our banking privileges. Also if I didn't pay it by 11am the amount would then rise to 26,000. From what I've googled, she isn't an attorney, isn't a true arbitrator,and is a scam artist since I have not received any paperwork other than a letter 5/23/2007 saying y debit card was denied due to the expiration date. What are the statute of limitations on this?

Anonymous said...

if some one is being accused of a drive by shooting, it happing close to a year ago an they just seized the car, an they seized the suspected vehicle, an its not ben registered is their a case

Anonymous said...

If someone was arrested in August 2014 for parole violation due to an arrest in October 2013 what is the statute of limitations on getting indited on the October case...the parole came from Texas Youth Commission...

Anonymous said...

An acquaintance stole my car and wrecked it into a home. She was on probation at the time for something else. she went to jail for that. Can i still press charges after a year has past












Stephen Gustitis said...

Please call the police and make a report immediately.

Randy Adventure said...

Hello, I was arrested and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor DUI as a 19 year old in 1991. During my probation period, I was allowed to move out-of-state. After several months, I was late with my payment and phone call, so an arrest warrant (Tarrant and surrounding counties)was issued in 1993. Ft. Worth officials told me the only thing I could do was turn myself in and ask a judge for mercy. At the advice of an attorney, I stayed out of Texas for many years. I have checked online to see if the warrant is still valid, but nothing is ever found. I have not been in trouble since. Is there a statue of limitations for a warrant such as this?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Randy: there is no statute of limitation in this regard. I'd hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer in Tarrant County to assist you.