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Idaho Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

Statutes of limitations exist to ensure timely criminal trials that are based on the best possible evidence. Physical evidence and testimony about a crime can degrade or even disappear over time. So the sooner the evidence can appear at trial, the better. Most state laws will pause the statutory “clock" if you are outside the state, and then restart it if and when you return. This is to prevent criminals from avoiding prosecution for serious crimes by hiding from the authorities. Here are the basics of criminal statute of limitations laws in Idaho.

Criminal Statutes of Limitations

Every crime has a limit on how long prosecutors have to take evidence the police gather and turn it into criminal charges and a trial. The time limits normally vary depending on the type of crime, with prosecutors having more time to bring felony charges than for less serious misdemeanor charges. For example, misdemeanors in Idaho generally have a limitation of one year for prosecution, while there is no limit for murder, manslaughter, or rape.

Criminal Statutes of Limitations in Idaho

The chart below highlights Idaho's criminal statutes of limitations.

State Idaho
Topic Criminal statute of limitations
Definition A statute of limitations tells you the time frame when the prosecution must bring a charge for a crime.
Code Sections Idaho Statutes sections 19-401 to 19-406

There is no time limit for the following crimes:

  • Murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Sexual abuse of a child or lewd conduct with a child
  • Acts of terrorism

Generally, cases for any other felony must be started within 5 years of the crime. But cases for ritualized abuse of a child or female genital mutilation of a child must be started within 3 years after the victim notifies law enforcement of the crime.

  • Generally, cases for misdemeanors must be started within 1 year.
  • Cases for failure to report abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child must be started within 4 years.
  • Cases for misuse of funds must be started within 5 years.
  • If a case for misdemeanor DWI was dismissed as part of a diversion program, it must be refiled within 2 years of its dismissal.
Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run The statute of limitations does not run when you are absent from the state or are not a resident of the state.
Other Cases for sexual exploitation by a medical care provider must be started within 2 years.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact an Idaho criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Idaho Criminal Laws Related Resources:

More Resources for Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws in Idaho

Criminal charges are serious and criminal statutes can be complicated. FindLaw's section on Criminal Law Basics can provide you with further articles and information on this topic. If you would like legal assistance with a criminal matter, you can consult with an experienced Idaho criminal defense attorney in your area.

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