Missouri Statutes of Limitations
The state of Missouri has certain rules when it comes to how long the government has to charge someone with a crime. This is known as the statute of limitations.
It is very important to understand which crimes carry statutes of limitations and how they can affect you or a loved one. Twibellpierson criminal defense attorney will help to explain all of the intricacies in great detail.
Are there crimes that don’t have a statute of limitations?
Yes. Any crime that is classified as a Class A Felony in Missouri can be charged at any time, no matter how much time has passed since the crime was committed. The Missouri Class A felonies are:
- Abandonment of Child – 1st Degree – Death of Child
- Abandonment of Child – 2nd Degree – Death of Child
- Abuse or Neglect of a Child – Less Than14 Years of Age and Sexual Abuse/Exploitation
- Abuse or Neglect of a Child – Resulting in Death Under Sec. 568.060.5(2)
- Abuse or Neglect of a Child – Serious Emotional or Physical Injury
- Aiding/Abetting a Person Discharging/Shooting a Firearm at or From a Motor Vehicle – Physical Injury or Death
- Any Person Not Owner/Not in Lawful Control of Approved Container, Allow Release/Escape of Anhydrous Ammonia-Death/Serious Injury
- Arson 1st Degree – Causing Serious Physical Injury or Death
- Arson 1st Degree – Causing Serious Physical Injury or Death as a Result of Fire or Explosion in an Attempt to Produce Methamphetamine
- Assault 1st Degree or Attempt- Serious Physical Injury or Special Victim
- Assault with Intent to Commit Bus Hijacking with a Weapon
- BWI – Death of 2 or More – 2nd or Subsequent Violation
- BWI – Death of Law Enforcement or Emergency Personnel – 2nd or Subsequent Violation
- BWI – Habitual – 2nd or Subsequent Violation
- Causing Catastrophe
- Child Kidnapping
- Child Molestation – 1st Degree
- Distribution of a Controlled Substance in a Protected Location
- Domestic Assault – 1st Degree – Previous Offense Under “This Crime”
- Domestic Assault – 1st Degree – Serious Physical Injury
- Domestic Assault 1st Degree – Serious Physical Injury
- DWI – Death of 2 or More – 2nd or Subsequent Violation
- DWI – Death of Law Enforcement or Emergency Personnel – 2nd or Subsequent Violation
- DWI – Habitual – 2nd or Subsequent Violation
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child – 1st Degree – Death of Child – No Sexual Conduct
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child – 1st Degree – Death of Child – Sexual Conduct
- Escape or attempted Escape from Confinement with Deadly Weapon, Dangerous Instrument or by Holding Hostage
- Escape or attempted Escape from Custody with Deadly Weapon, Dangerous Instrument or by Holding Hostage
- Financial Exploitation of Elderly/Disabled Person
- Kidnapping – 1st Degree
- Knowingly Infect another With HIV by Being a Blood, Blood Product, Organ, Tissue or Sperm Donor
- Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – Physical Injury or Death During Manufacture
- Murder 1st Degree
- Murder 2nd Degree
- Murder 2nd Degree – Felony Murder – During Perpetration/Attempted Perpetration/Flight from Perpetration of a Felony, a Person Dies
- Murder 2nd Degree – Vehicular – Intoxicated
- Perjury in Criminal Trial to Secure Conviction of Murder
- Planting Bomb or Explosive at or Near Bus or Terminal
- Promote Child Pornography to a Minor 1st Degree
- Recklessly Infect another With HIV When Actor Is Knowingly Infected With HIV
- Robbery – 1st Degree
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Child
- Tamper with a Prescription Drug Order
- Trafficking Drugs – 2nd Degree – Over Statutory Amount
- Trafficking Drugs or attempt- 1st Degree – Over Statutory Amount
- Unlawful Use of Weapon – Subsection 9 – Shoot at/From Motor Vehicle, at Person, Motor Vehicle or Building, Resulting in Death or Injury
Other Types of Crimes and Statutes of Limitations
In general, all felonies that are not listed above have a statute of limitations of 3 years. The government only has 1 year to bring a case for any misdemeanor. Lastly, any crime that is only defined as an infraction can be charged by the state only within 6 months.
What are the exceptions?
Any other arson charge (1st Degree, 2nd Degree, Knowingly Burning or Exploding) can be charged within 5 years if it is classified as a Class B Felony.
If someone has committed fraud, the victim may extend the statute of limitations by up to 3 years assuming they alert law enforcement within 1 year of them finding out about the fraud.
Any crime committed by someone in public office can be charged up to 2 years after they leave office as long as it does not extend the statute of limitations by more than 3 years.
Does the statute of limitations always run from the moment the crime was committed?
Not always. If the person who committed the crime was outside of the state of Missouri for a period of time, the clock “would not run” during that time, and can extend the statute of limitations for up to 3 years. The clock also does not run when the criminal is hiding from law enforcement. Lastly, the clock would not run from the time where a DNA profile was created from evidence and up to the time where the defendant was identified as a match.
Many crimes in Missouri have a statute of limitation which limits the amount of time the state has to bring a case. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime from the past, Twibell Pierson Criminal Law can help make sure that all policies and procedures are being followed and that you have the best defense possible.