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What are the statutes of limitations in Louisiana?

by | Jan 8, 2017 | criminal defense

A statute of limitation is a rule that puts a time limit on prosecutions for certain crimes. In other words, if someone who’s suspected of committing a crime doesn’t have charges filed against them for a preset amount of time, they then become immune to prosecution for that particular crime.

Every state has implemented different statutes of limitations on different crimes, and some have decided to not have a statute of limitation on certain crimes. For instance, if you commit treason in the state of Colorado, the day will never come that you are safe from prosecution. So, what does Louisiana’s law say about these things? In the Bayou State, felonies are treated as follows:

  • Six years for any felony that’s punishable by hard labor.
  • Four years for felonies that aren’t punishable by hard labor.
  • 10 years for indecent behavior or molestation of a juvenile, sexual battery (aggravated), a crime against nature involving a victim under 17 years of age or carnal knowledge.
  • There is no statute of limitation on forcible rape or crimes that are punishable by life imprisonment or death.

For misdemeanors, the law is a little more lenient:

  • Two years for a crime that’s punishable by a fine and/or time in prison.
  • Six months for any crime that can be punished with a forfeiture or fine.

While a statute of limitation might mean a rescue from prosecution, there are a number of complicating factors that can change the situation entirely. That’s why it might be a wise idea to sit down with a criminal defense attorney to go over any potential case.