Illinois Criminal Statute of Limitations

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.

Below is a summary of the statute of limitation periods for criminal cases in Illinois. Statutes of limitations set forth the time period within which the state must commence a case 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.

Ill. Comp. Stat. 720 ILCS 5/3-5, 5/3-6, 5/3-7

No statute of limitations for: First degree murder, attempt to commit first degree murder, second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving death or personal injuries, failing to give information and render aid under the Illinois Vehicle Code, concealment of homicidal death, treason, arson, aggravated arson, forgery, child pornography or aggravated child pornography

No statute of limitations for: Certain specified sexual conduct and sexual penetration crimes in which DNA evidence is entered into a DNA database within 10 years after commission of the offense. Victim must have reported the offense to law enforcement authorities within 3 years after the crime, unless other exception applies or victim was murdered during the offense or within 2 years thereafter

Other felonies: within 3 years after the offense

Misdemeanors: within one year and 6 months after the offense

Illinois' Statute of Limitations for Specific Crimes

Breach of a fiduciary obligation where the victim is a minor or under a legal disability: within one year after termination of such status

Other breaches of a fiduciary obligation: within one year after the discovery of the offense or within one year after the prosecuting officer becomes aware of the offense, up to a maximum additional 3 years

Offense based upon misconduct in office by a public officer or employee: within one year after discovery of the offense or within one year after the prosecuting officer becomes aware of the offense, up to a maximum additional 3 years

Child pornography, indecent solicitation of a child, soliciting for a juvenile prostitute, juvenile pimping or exploitation of a child: within one year after the victim turns 18, provided time period shall never expire sooner than 3 years after the commission of the offense. If victim is under 18, prosecution for criminal sexual abuse may be commenced within one year after the victim turns 18 years, provided time period shall never expire sooner than 3 years after the commission of the offense

Offenses involving sexual conduct or sexual penetration (as defined in Section 12-12) where the defendant was in a professional or fiduciary with the victim: within one year after the discovery of the offense by the victim

Offenses under Section 44 of the Environmental Protection Act: within 5 years after the discovery of the offense, or within 5 years after the prosecuting officer becomes aware of the offense

Identity theft crimes: within 5 years after the discovery of the offense by the victim

Criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse: within 10 years of the commission of the offense if the victim reported the offense within 3 years after its commission

Criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or felony criminal sexual abuse where the victim is under 18, or failure to report any of these offenses under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act: within 20 years after the victim turns 18

Misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse with a victim under 18: within 10 years after the victim turns 18

Theft of real property exceeding $100,000 in value, identity theft, aggravated identity theft, or financial criminal offense under Article 16H: within 7 years of the last criminal act

Tolling Provisions

The statute of limitations does not run during any time when:

  • the defendant is not usually and publicly resident within the state
  • the defendant is a public officer and is charged with theft of public funds while in public office or
  • a prosecution or other criminal law proceeding is pending against the defendant for the same conduct
  • a material witness is placed on active military duty or leave
  • the victim of unlawful force or threat of bodily harm is incarcerated and the victim's incarceration is a consequence of unlawful force or threats

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