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.

ChargeStatute of LimitationsCode of Criminal Procedure Section
MurderNone12.01(1)(A)
ManslaughterNone12.01(1)(A)
Indecency with a ChildNone12.01(1)(E)
Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child(ren)None12.01(1)(D)
Leaving the scene of an accident (if it resulted in the death of a person)None12.01(1)(F)
Child TraffickingNone12.01(1)(G)
Sexual Assault of a ChildNone12.01(1)(B)
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildNone12.01(1)(B)
Sexual Assault (If DNA obtained in the course of the investigation and it does not match the victim.)None12.01(1)(C)
Theft (involving fiduciaries or officials’ forgery)10 years12.01(2)(A)
Theft by a public servant10 years12.01(2)(B)
Forgery10 years12.01(2)(C)
Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person10 years12.01(2)(D)
Sexual Assault (other than those listed above with no statute of limitations)10 years12.01(2)(E)
Arson10 years12.01(2)(F)
Trafficking of Persons10 years12.01(2)(G)
Compelling Prostitution10 years12.01(2)(H)
Misapplication of Fiduciary Property or Property of a Financial Institution7 years12.01(3)(A)
Securing Execution of Document by Deception7 years12.01(3)(B)
False Statement to Obtain Property or Credit7 years12.01(3)(D)
Money Laundering7 years12.01(3)(E)
Credit/Debit Card Abuse7 years12.01(3)(F)
Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information7 years12.01(3)(G)
Medicaid Fraud7 years12.01(3)(H)
Bigamy7 years12.01(3)(H)
Theft5 years12.01(4)(A)
Robbery5 years12.01(4)(A)
Kidnapping5 years12.01(4)(B)
Burglary5 years12.01(4)(B)
Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person (not a first-degree felony)5 years12.01(4)(C)
Abandoning/Endangering a Child5 years12.01(4)(D)
Insurance Fraud5 years12.01(4)(E)
Theft (up to $1500)2 years12.02

 

All misdemeanors have a 2 year statute.