Maryland Criminal Statute of Limitations

Below are the main statutes of limitation for criminal cases in Maryland which set forth the time periods within which a legal proceeding must be commenced. If the state fails to bring a case within the specified time period, it loses its right to prosecute for that crime forever. 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.

MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings § § 5-105, 5-106, 5-201 et seq.; MD Code, Crim. Law § 2-102

Offenses

Note: there is no overarching statute of limitations for felonies in Maryland. There may be limitations periods in individual offense statutes.

Murder, manslaughter, or unlawful homicide: no limit

Misdemeanors in general: within one year

Misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment: no limit

Welfare offenses: within three years

See MD CTS & JUD PRO § 5-106 for other misdemeanor limitation periods

Action for assault, libel, or slander actions: within one year from the date the action accrues

Tolling Provisions

If a person is out of state when a cause of action accrues against him, a plaintiff can file an action within the normal limitations period after the defendant returns to the state.

See MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 5-201 et seq. for more tolling provisions

Back to State Criminal Defense Statutes

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