Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Minnesota Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

All states have time limits for how long prosecutors have to file charges after a crime has been committed (or "discovered"), called the criminal statute of limitations. These time limits ensure a more efficient criminal justice system, while making sure evidence and witnesses' memories remain relatively fresh. These time limits also prevent prosecutors from threatening criminal charges indefinitely. However, there is no statute of limitations for murder charges in virtually every state, due to the seriousness of the crime.

Minnesota Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance

In Minnesota, as in other states, the statute of limitations vary for different types of crimes. For example, misdemeanors carry a three-year time limit, while the time limits for some felonies range from three to nine years. However, for more serious crimes, such as murder or sex trafficking of minors, Minnesota law permits charges to be filed against a suspect at any time with no time limits.

Additional details of Minnesota's criminal statute of limitations can be found in the following table.

State Minnesota
Topic Criminal Statute of Limitations
Definition The criminal statute of limitations is a time limit the state has for prosecuting a crime. Under Minnesota law, the statute of limitations depends on the severity of the crime you face, ranging from 3 years to no limit.
Code Section Minn. Stat. Ann. Section 628.26
  • Murder or manslaughter: none
  • Kidnapping: none
  • Human trafficking: none if the victim is younger than 18 years; 6 years if the victim is 18 years or older
  • Sex trafficking, criminal sexual conduct: none if DNA evidence is collected and preserved; Without DNA evidence, nine years after offense is committed if the victim is 18 years or older
  • Bribery involving a public officer or employee, medical assistance fraud, or employer wage theft: 6 years
  • Financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, check forgery exceeding $35,000 in stolen property or services, identity theft with either eight or more direct victims or losses exceeding $35,000, environmental crimes involving pollution and disposal and transport of hazardous waste/harmful substances, or arson : 5 years
  • All others: 3 years
Misdemeanors 3 years
Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim
  • Human trafficking: none
  • Sex trafficking, criminal sexual conduct: none if DNA evidence is collected and preserved; Without DNA evidence, nine years after offense committed or three years after reported to police, whichever is later
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run

Any period which the defendant:

  • does not usually reside in Minnesota
  • Participates in a pretrial diversion program related to the crime

Any period involving DNA analysis related to the crime unless defendant can show there was intentional delay used to gain an unfair advantage.

Other N/A

Note: State laws are constantly changing. We strive to maintain accurate and up-to-date state law summaries, but you may also want to contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

How is the Statute of Limitations Tolled?

Time limits for filing criminal charges run only when the suspect is visible and within the state where the crime was committed.

Tolling a statue of the limitations suspends the running of the time limit. This prevents criminals from simply crossing state lines or hiding out in order to avoid charges. So an individual who commits bank robbery, promptly leaves the state, and lives under an alias will not avoid charges after three years because the statute of limitations period will not run during that time. But once the individual returns and lives openly in the state where the crime was committed, the clock will begin running again.

Research the Law

Minnesota Criminal Statute of Limitations: Related Resources

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex criminal defense situations usually require a lawyer
  • Defense attorneys can help protect your rights
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties

Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many Minnesota attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options