The Pros And Cons Of Limition Of Crimes

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In the United States, many courts have created a rule known as statute of limitations. This rule establishes specific guidelines to determine how long a person has to bring forth a case against someone. In criminal law, the prosecutor is normally the one who is required to bring forth formal charges against a defendant within a specific amount of time after a crime is first discovered by law enforcement. Because of the different classifications of crimes in the criminal codes, there are various time limitations that prosecutors must be aware of when deciding to file charges against a defendant.
The first type of crime is known as petty offenses. Petty offenses are described in the criminal code as crimes that inflict punishments ranging from fines to a short jail term of up to no more than six months (“Petty Offense”, n.d.). Some examples of petty offenses can include failing to appear for court, and traffic citations. Once this type of offense has been discovered by law enforcement, the prosecutor will be given six months to file charges against the defendant (“Time Limits for Charges: State Criminal Statutes of Limitations”, n.d.). Since petty offense convictions come with fines of no more than $5,000 and/or six months or less behind bars, most courts do not hold actual jury trials to prosecute these offenses (“Felonies, Misdemeanors and Infractions: The Differences”, n.d.). Furthermore, because the consequences seem very minimal, most people end up deciding to serve the

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