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Criminal Law Blog

Statutes of Limitations for Criminal Charges in AZ

February 11, 2022

A statute of limitations refers to the amount of time in which a criminal charge can be brought before the court. If charges are not filed before this time limit runs out, the defendant’s attorney can motion to have the case dismissed. Statutes of limitations vary by state, so it’s paramount to understand the local laws here in Tucson, Arizona. 

General Limits

There are certain crimes that come with a specific statute of limitations. If a crime is not listed by name, it will likely fall into the general statute of limitations. For felonies from Classes 2 through 6, the statute of limitations is seven years. Misdemeanors receive a period of one year, and petty offenses get only six months. Petty offenses include speeding tickets and driving without a proper license. 

No Time Limit

Depending on the crime, the state of Arizona does not impose a statute of limitations on the accused. Crimes without time limits include: 


-Negligent homicide

-Violent sexual assault

-Class 2 felony sex offenses

-Class 2 child exploitation 

-Misuse of public funds

-Falsification of public records

Defendants accused of these crimes can be brought to trial at any point after the initial incident. 

Shorter Time Limits

Most statutes of limitations are under 10 years. A period of seven years applies to fatal hit-and-runs, child sex trafficking, burglary, fraudulent schemes, and felony theft (over $1000). An auto accident caused by a moving violation that leads to the death of an involved party has a statute of limitations of two years, while misdemeanor theft (under $1000) has only one year. 
With over 20 years of proven legal experience, you can rest assured that Janet Atlschuler will work tirelessly to defend you. If you have been accused of a crime in Tucson, AZ, don’t hesitate to contact Ms. Altschuler’s law office as soon as possible. To request a complimentary initial consultation, call 520-829-4460.

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