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Mississippi Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

Every state places restrictions on how long a person can be prosecuted for a crime. These time limits are called statutes of limitations. Both civil and criminal cases have statutes of limitations. These time limits ensure that a criminal case won't be filed based on evidence or witness testimony that's too remote in time.

Mississippi Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance

Mississippi's criminal statute of limitations regulates the time in which a prosecutor must file formal charges against a defendant. The statutes of limitations help preserve evidence (including witness testimony) and prevent prosecutors from threatening criminal charges indefinitely. While misdemeanors typically have a two-year time limit in Mississippi, felonies such as murder and some sexual assault charges have no time limit.

The following table list the applicable criminal statute of limitations in the state of Mississippi.

State Mississippi
Topic Criminal Statute of Limitations
Definition The criminal statute of limitations is a time limit the state has for prosecuting a crime. Under Mississippi law, the statute of limitations depends on the severity of the crime you face, ranging from 2 years to no limit.
Code Section Mississippi Code Section 99-1-5: Time Limitations

The following crimes have no statute of limitation:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Forgery
  • Counterfeiting
  • Robbery
  • Larceny
  • Rape
  • Embezzlement
  • Obtaining money or property under false pretense or by fraud

Conspiracy, assistance-program fraud, or abuse of vulnerable persons: 5 years
Larceny (theft) of timber: 6 years
Other felonies: 2 years

Misdemeanors 2 years
Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim Child abuse or battery, sexual abuse (touching or handling), sexual battery, sexual exploitation (child pornography, for example), prostitution, or human trafficking; none
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run
  • The suspect is absent from the state or evades law enforcement
  • The authorities cannot serve process on the suspect
Other Also, if an indictment is lost, destroyed, quashed, or stopped by any defect in the record (other than acquittal on the merits), then another year is added from the date of the indictment being destroyed or judgment being reversed. Mississippi Code Section 99-1-9

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.

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Want More Information? Contact a Mississippi Criminal Attorney

Mississippi's criminal statute of limitations laws regulates the time in which a defendant can be prosecuted. Are you concerned with how these laws affect you? If you need help using this law as a defense or are concerned that you might be prosecuted for a past misdeed, you need to talk to an attorney right away. Get started today by contacting an experienced Mississippi criminal defense attorney.

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