Statute of Limitation

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Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is generally a law defining the maximum amount of time after a crime or civil grievance that legal action may be taken against the perpetrator.  Statutes exist in both the criminal code and the civil code for such limitations also known as periods of prescription.

To illustrate, it is common for states to have a statute of limitations requiring that lesser crimes or misdemeanors may only be prosecuted within three years of the date of the crime.  After the three year period has passed, the person responsible for the misdemeanor cannot be prosecuted if proceedings have not already begun.  A similar statue of limitation for a breach of contract might allow for civil action to commence only within the six years after the breach.

There are similar statutes limiting the period in which a creditor may bring action against a non-paying debtor.  The time frame of the limitation may begin anew should the debtor acknowledge the debt with partial payment or agree to waive protection from the statute.

Some extreme crimes, such as murder, do not have a statute of limitations in many states.  A person committing murder in 2007 could conceivably be found and brought to justice in 2050 or beyond.  Murder is such a grievous crime that it is felt no one should be allowed to get away with it. Courts have even ruled that some acts of pollution do not fall under the protection of the laws of limitation from prosecution.

The time limitation on the crime or infraction normally begins when the event in question occurs.  However, sometimes the limitation will not begin to run until the action creating an infraction reveals itself.  An example would be a product defect causing injury that turned up long after a product was manufactured.  Some cases even involve litigation over the exact date that the time limitation should begin to run.

In real estate law there is a statute of limitations known as a statute of repose.  This statute limits the amount of time that building or property defects or hazards may be brought to litigation or the owner prosecuted for neglect.  Defects or hazards that should be obvious, such as a hole in the ground are treated differently than hidden problems such as an electrical wiring defect.

 

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Could Harvey Weinstein Face Criminal Charges NBCNews.com
NBCNews.com Could Harvey Weinstein Face Criminal Charges NBCNews.com One catch, however, is that law did not take effect until after 2006 and so, because of the statute of limitations, prosecutors would most likely not be able to bring charges for crimes that occurred before 2006. quotThe statute of limitations may block The legal fallout from the mushrooming Weinstein sex scandal could be bigLos Angeles Times Could Harvey Weinstein Go to Jail What39s Next in Hollywood Sex Assault ScandalPEOPLE.com Could Harvey Weinstein go to jailThe Guardian The New Yorker New York Times New York Times all 4,922 news articles raquo

Victims Of Harvey Weinstein Should Come Forward, LAPD Urges Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times Victims of Harvey Weinstein should come forward, LAPD urges Los Angeles Times Law enforcement investigated those allegations, but none in California has resulted in criminal charges in part because they are beyond the statue of limitations. Los Angeles prosecutors last December declined to bring criminal charges against Cosby and more raquo

Government Releases Legal Limits For Drugged Driving But Canapost Say CBC.ca
CBC.ca Government releases legal limits for drugged driving but can39t say CBC.ca The federal government has released a draft of its planned drug concentration levels but admit the new rules provide no guidance on how much marijuana it and more raquo

CID Questions Editors Over Uganda President Age Limit Daily Nation Daily Na...
Daily Nation CID questions editors over Uganda President age limit Daily Nation Daily Nation Uganda President Yoweri Museveni. An MP tabled a Bill to allow those above 75 years to run for President. Mr Museveni is 73 years old and will be 77 in the and more raquo

Itaposs Not Just Cy Vance: NY Needs To Rethink Rules For DA Donations New Yo...
New York Post It39s not just Cy Vance: NY needs to rethink rules for DA donations New York Post Like all the rest of New York state39s 62 district attorneys, Manhattan DA Cy Vance has long taken advantage of surprisingly lax campaign finance laws to rake in thousands from criminal defense lawyers. Now, finding himself unexpectedly in the harsh Running Unopposed, Vance Is Suddenly on the DefensiveNew York Times LOVETT: Cy Vance funding controversy inspires bill curbing lawyer donationsNew York Daily News Vance Controversy Spotlights Lax Campaign Finance Rules for District AttorneysGotham Gazette all 27 news articles raquo

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Facts of Law explaining the statute of limitation law

Facts of Law - Statute of Limitations