For a variety of reasons, there is generally a time limit on when someone can be charged with a crime. State laws place limits on how much time prosecutors have to file criminal charges, called the criminal statute of limitations. These limits are designed to make sure that criminal trials (and possible subsequent convictions) are based on evidence that has not deteriorated over time. Most states have different limits for different kinds of crimes, and Connecticut is no different.
In Connecticut, there is a five-year time limit for the filing of crimes that carry a punishment of imprisonment for more than one year. Most other crimes, with some notable exceptions, have a one-year deadline. Murder and other Class A felonies, meanwhile, have no statute of limitations.
Criminal Statutes of Limitations in Connecticut
Learn about Connecticut's criminal statute of limitations laws and related matters in the sections below.
||Criminal statute of limitations
||A statute of limitations tells you the time frame when the prosecution must bring a charge for a crime.
||Connecticut General Statutes sections 54-193 and 54-193b
There is no time limit for the following crimes:
- Capital and Class A felonies, including murder
- Escape in the first degree
- Any crime involving sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual assault of a minor
- Hindering prosecution of any of the above crimes by helping the person who committed the crime
- Lying under oath, when it results in the conviction of an innocent person
- Failure to stop and help if you've caused a car accident that results in the death of another person
- Sexual assault offenses if the victim notified police within 5 years of the crime and there is DNA evidence identifying the person who committed the crime
The time limit for most sex crimes is 20 years. The time limit for any other felony is 5 years.
||Generally, cases for misdemeanors must be started within 1 year. For Class A misdemeanor sexual assault in the fourth degree, if the victim was 21 or older at the time of the crime, the case must be tried within 10 years.
|Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim
|| Any crime involving sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual assault of a minor can be tried at any time.
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run
||The time limit for bringing a case stops during the time you have fled the state or are living outside the state.
||Any crime involving sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual assault of a person who was 18, 19, or 20 at the time of the crime must be tried within 30 years of the victim's 21st birthday.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Official State Codes
Related Resources for Connecticut Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws:
Any criminal charge is a serious matter, and criminal statutes can vary depending on your jurisdiction. If you have been charged with a crime, you can contact a Connecticut criminal defense attorney in your area to discuss your case. You can also visit FindLaw's Criminal Law Basics for additional details.