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Texas Statute of Limitations

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 12 governs Texas current criminal statutes of limitation. A statute of limitation is the deadline by which the state, in the case of a misdemeanor, has to submit an information (or the charging document) against a defendant to a proper officer of the court or the grand jury, in the case of a felony, has to file an indictment against a defendant with a proper office of the court.

The statute is met when the prosecution has filed before the expiration of the statute, even if they have yet to apprehend the defendant. Failure to apprehend the defendant prior to filing the case, however, is a different matter all together.

What this means is that most offenses have an expiration date by which a defendant must be charged. You can see many of the Statutes of Limitation specific to Texas law in the table below.

All misdemeanors have a 2 year statute.

Charge Statute of Limitations Code of Criminal Procedure Section
Murder None 12.01(1)(A)
Manslaughter None 12.01(1)(A)
Indecency with a Child None 12.01(1)(E)
Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child(ren) None 12.01(1)(D)
Leaving the scene of an accident (if it resulted in the death of a person) None 12.01(1)(F)
Child Trafficking None 12.01(1)(G)
Sexual Assault of a Child None 12.01(1)(B)
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child None 12.01(1)(B)
Sexual Assault (If DNA obtained in the course of the investigation and it does not match the victim.) None 12.01(1)(C)
Theft (involving fiduciaries or officials’ forgery) 10 years 12.01(2)(A)
Theft by a public servant 10 years 12.01(2)(B)
Forgery 10 years 12.01(2)(C)
Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person 10 years 12.01(2)(D)
Sexual Assault (other than those listed above with no statute of limitations) 10 years 12.01(2)(E)
Arson 10 years 12.01(2)(F)
Trafficking of Persons 10 years 12.01(2)(G)
Compelling Prostitution 10 years 12.01(2)(H)
Misapplication of Fiduciary Property or Property of a Financial Institution 7 years 12.01(3)(A)
Securing Execution of Document by Deception 7 years 12.01(3)(B)
False Statement to Obtain Property or Credit 7 years 12.01(3)(D)
Money Laundering 7 years 12.01(3)(E)
Credit/Debit Card Abuse 7 years 12.01(3)(F)
Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information 7 years 12.01(3)(G)
Medicaid Fraud 7 years 12.01(3)(H)
Bigamy 7 years 12.01(3)(H)
Theft 5 years 12.01(4)(A)
Robbery 5 years 12.01(4)(A)
Kidnapping 5 years 12.01(4)(B)
Burglary 5 years 12.01(4)(B)
Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person (not a first-degree felony) 5 years 12.01(4)(C)
Abandoning/Endangering a Child 5 years 12.01(4)(D)
Insurance Fraud 5 years 12.01(4)(E)
Theft (up to $1500) 2 years 12.02

 

All misdemeanors have a 2 year statute.