Texas Criminal Statute of Limitations

Below are the statutes of limitation for criminal cases in Texas 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.

Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art 12.01 et seq.

Felonies in Texas

Felony Statute
Murder and manslaughter No time limit
Sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault No time limit
Offenses against young children No time limit
Leaving the scene of an accident which resulted in death No time limit
Trafficking of persons No time limit
Offenses related to theft by a fiduciary 10 years
Theft by a public servant of government property 10 years
Forgery 10 years
Injury to the elderly or disabled 10 years
Sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault 10 years
Arson 10 years
Compelling prostitution 10 years
Misapplication of fiduciary property 7 years
Securing execution of a document by deception 7 years
Money laundering 7 years
Credit card or debit card abuse 7 years
Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information 7 years
Bigamy 7 years
Medicaid fraud 7 years
Theft or robbery 5 years
Kidnapping or burglary 5 years
Injury to an elderly or disabled individual 5 years
Abandoning or endangering a child 5 years
Insurance fraud 5 years
Sexual performance by a child, if victim younger than 17 20 years from 18th birthday of the victim
Other felonies 3 years

Misdemeanors in Texas

Misdemeanor Statute
Prostitution, pimping, and pandering Within 2 years
Possession of up to two ounces of marijuana Within 2 years
Theft of property worth less than $50 Within 2 years
Other misdemeanors Within 2 years

DNA Evidence

There is no time limit for prosecution of sexual assault if testing of DNA gathered shows that it does not match the victim or any other person whose identity is readily ascertained.

Tolling Provisions

The period of limitation is suspended for:

  • time during which the accused is absent from the state
  • time during which the indictment, information, or complaint is filed in a court of competent jurisdiction, and ending with the day such accusation is, by an order of a trial court having jurisdiction, determined to be invalid for any reason

Back to State Criminal Defense Statutes

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