Ohio Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
Similar to time limits for civil lawsuits, state prosecutors are required to file criminal charges within the limits established by the criminal statute of limitations. These time limits start running at the time the crime was committed, but the "clock" may be paused if the suspect is trying to evade law enforcement or living out of state.
These time limits for criminal charges are meant to help preserve the integrity of evidence, including witness testimony, and maintain greater efficiency in the criminal justice system generally. Murder usually has no statute of limitations, but time limits typically are divided by crime classification (felony or misdemeanor).
Ohio Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance
In Ohio, there is no statute of limitations for murder or aggravated murder. That means people can be charged with these crimes no matter how much time has passed. Other serious felonies have a twenty five, twenty, or six year time limit.
Most misdemeanors have a two-year time limit during which charges have to be filed.
Additional details of Ohio's time limits for criminal charges are listed below. See Time Limits to Bring a Case: The Statute of Limitations to learn about similar time limits used in civil law.
|Topic||Criminal Statute of Limitations|
|Definition||The length of time for which prosecution proceedings can be commenced for a crime.|
|Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim||
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||
Note: State laws are constantly changing through decisions from higher courts, the enactment of newly signed legislation, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you should contact an Ohio criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
- Ohio Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Ohio Criminal Statute of Limitations: Related Resources
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.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.