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Statute Of Limitations In Criminal Law

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Across the United States, many criminal courts have created a rule known as statute of limitations. Statute of limitations sets forth a time limit to raising a legal issue in order to not only maintain the integrity of evidence gathered for the trial, but to also protect people from being harassed about a crime that was never tried a long time ago. In order to begin a criminal case within statute of limitations, a prosecutor must bring forth formal charges against a defendant within a specific amount of time after a crime is first discovered by law enforcement. The amount of time that a prosecutor can file criminal charges against a defendant depends on the crime’s classification under the federal or state criminal code. Because of the different classifications of crimes in criminal codes, there are several forms of time limitations that prosecutors should know before deciding to file criminal charges against a defendant.
The first type of offense is known as an infraction. In the criminal code, infractions are crimes that carry a punishment of paying a fine (“Felonies, Misdemeanors and Infractions: The Differences”, n.d.). Once law enforcement discovers this type of offense, the prosecutor is given exactly six months to file charges against the defendant (“Time Limits for Charges: State Criminal Statutes of Limitations”, n.d.). Some examples of infractions can include citations for parking violations, running a red light, and speeding.
The next type of offense is known as
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