Maine Criminal Statute of Limitations

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Below is a summary of the statute of limitation periods for criminal cases in the state of Maine. Statutes of limitations set forth the time period within which the state must commence a case against someone for a crime. If the state tries to bring an action against someone after the applicable time period has passed, the person charged can have the case dismissed. In general, violent crimes have a longer statute of limitations, and with some crimes there is no statute of limitations. In certain instances, the statute of limitations may be tolled, or suspended, which grants the state additional time to commence a legal action.

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 17-A §8

Murder or criminal homicide in the 1st or 2nd degree: no statute of limitations

If victim is under under 16, no statute of limitations for: incest; unlawful sexual contact; sexual abuse of a minor; rape, or gross sexual assault

Class A, Class B, or Class C crime: within 6 years after it is committed

Class D or Class E crime: within 3 years after it is committed

Tolling Provisions

The periods of limitations shall not run:

  • when the accused is absent from the state, up to maximum additional 5 years
  • when a prosecution against the accused for the same crime based on the same conduct is pending in the state
  • when a prosecution against the accused for the corresponding juvenile crime based on the same conduct is pending in the Juvenile Court

For breach of fiduciary obligation: within 1 year after discovery of the crime by the aggrieved party or person with legal duty to represent the aggrieved party, whichever occurs first, up to maximum additional 5 years

For official misconduct by a public servant: any time when person is in public office or employment or within 2 years thereafter,  up to maximum additional 5 years

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