Crimes And The Statutes Of Limitations
If you have been arrested for a crime, the intricacies of the law may be a mystery to you. However, you might quickly become interested if one of those so-called loopholes allowed you to walk free of charges. One of those loopholes might be the statute of limitations. Read on and find out more.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
This law, or statute, exists for every type of crime. Only one crime has no statute of limitations and that is homicide, or murder. Regardless of how long ago the homicide allegedly occurred, charges can be filed even if the suspect has passed away. The statute, which differs in each state, sets out time limits for prosecuting a crime. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, the statute of limitations applies -- unless it's murder. No matter how innocent or guilty of the charges a suspect is, the statute makes it impossible for the crime to be prosecuted if time has run out.
Why Have a Statute of Limitations for Crimes?
There are several reasons why this statute exists. The main one, though, is that it forces the process to take place soon after the crime has been committed. Important evidence can be lost, and eyewitnesses can forget what they saw if too much time is allowed to pass. Some people say that if a crime is not solved in 48 hours, then the likelihood of it being solved decreases considerably due to the way evidence is lost.
Another important reason for tackling and resolving crimes quickly is that the public demands it. If citizens are afraid of getting out of their vehicles in a certain neighborhood after dark because of multiple incidents of robbery, they may demand that law enforcement take action and make an arrest.
An unfortunate side effect of the statute of limitations is that it can lead to law enforcement taking premature actions. They might be under pressure to solve the crime before the time to prosecute it runs out. Or law enforcement and the district attorney may come under public scrutiny when a culprit for an upsetting crime is not located and arrested. This can lead to arrests and cases being built against a suspect that, it turns out, is innocent of the charges.
If you have been arrested for a crime that you did not commit, you need the help of a criminal defense lawyer. Don't sit back and believe that law enforcement will somehow determine that you are innocent. People who are innocent of crimes are sentenced to prison all the time. Don't let that be you. Speak to a criminal domestic dispute attorney about the case today.