The Criminal Statute of Limitations in Florida

The Statute of Limitations (SOL) is a time limit set by law within which the state must charge a person with a crime. The SOL in Florida varies based on the crime’s type and severity.

Here is a brief overview of the SOL in Florida for some common crimes:

  • Felonies:
    • First-degree murder: No SOL
    • Other felonies: 4 years
  • Misdemeanors:
    • First-degree misdemeanors: 2 years
    • Second-degree misdemeanors: 1 year
  • Criminal Traffic Offenses:
    • DUI with serious bodily injury: 4 years
    • Other criminal traffic offenses: 2 years

New evidence may extend or revive the SOL for certain crimes, such as sexual offenses.

The Statute of Limitations Defense

A criminal defense strategy often includes a Statute of Limitations defense. Unless the state charges a person within the SOL, he or she cannot be convicted of the crime. If the SOL has ex