West Virginia Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
The criminal statute of limitations is a law limiting how long after a crime occurred a person can face charges. Each state determines its own statutes of limitations. Some serious crimes have no time limit for prosecution in almost all states, including West Virginia. Some states only have no limit for crimes like murder or sex crimes against children. By contrast, West Virginia has no time limits for all felonies except perjury, which has a three-year limitation.
Statutes of limitations ensure that state prosecutors charge suspects in a timely manner, and while evidence (including witness testimony) is relatively fresh. The clock is put on hold (sometimes referred to as being tolled) if a suspect is out of state or otherwise evading law enforcement.
West Virginia Criminal Statute of Limitations at a Glance
The following chart lists the criminal statute of limitations in West Virginia.
|Topic||Criminal Statute of Limitations|
|Definition||The criminal statute of limitations is a time limit the state has for prosecuting a crime. Under West Virginia law, the statute of limitations depends on the severity of the crime you face, ranging from one year to no limit.|
|Code Section||West Virginia Code Section 61-11-9|
|Misdemeanors||1 year, generally; bribery in political and official matters: 6 years (West Virginia Code Section 61-5A-9)|
|Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim||None for felonies|
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||If the indictment is stolen, lost, or destroyed, then the clock doesn't run. However, with the current computer systems in place, this could be less likely to happen than it may have been in the past.|
Note: State laws are updated all the time, usually when newly signed legislation is enacted but sometimes through higher court decisions or other means. Please contact a West Virginia criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these criminal laws.
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