Louisiana Criminal Statute of Limitations

Below is a summary of the statute of limitation periods for criminal cases in the state of Louisiana. 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.

La. Crim. Proc. Art. 571, 571.1, 572, 573, 573.1, 575

Any crime punishable by death or life imprisonment and rape: no statute of limitations

If the victim is under 17, statute of limitations is 30 years from the time victim turns 18 for the following crimes: Sexual battery, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior with juveniles, molestation of a juvenile, crime or aggravated crime against nature, or incest or aggravated incest

Felony punishable by imprisonment at hard labor: 6 years

Felony not necessarily punishable by imprisonment at hard labor: 4 years

Misdemeanor punishable by a fine, or imprisonment, or both: 2 years

Misdemeanor punishable only by a fine or forfeiture: 6 months

Tolling Provisions

For any sex offense where DNA evidence is used: within 3 years from the date when the identity of suspect is established by DNA

The statute of limitations does not run until the relationship or status has ended for the following offenses:

  • misappropriation of money or thing of value by one who by office, employment, or fiduciary relationship has been entrusted therewith
  • extortion or false accounting committed by a public officer or employee in official capacity
  • public bribery
  • aggravated battery where the victim is under 17

Statute of limitations is tolled:

  • with crime of exploitation of the infirmed until crime is discovered by victim or third party
  • if for the purpose of avoiding detection, apprehension, or prosecution, the person flees from the state or is absent from usual place of abode
  • if the person lacks mental capacity to proceed at trial and is committed

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