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  • Texas Statute of Limitations
Texas Statute of Limitations January 8, 2013

Several cases have come into our Bryan-College Station criminal defense office recently in which the statute of limitations (SOL) was a big question for the client. An expunction case, for instance, might not be ripe for filing until the SOL has expired. Potential clients often ask why the prosecutors took so long to indict them and whether the delay can help their defense.


In general, the Texas limitations period is the time within which the government may file criminal charges against a person. The SOL for felonies is different than that for Texas Statute of Limitations is Often Used as a Defense to Prosecutionmisdemeanors. Furthermore, there are circumstances when the limitations period is not running . . . like when the accused person is absent from the state . . . or after a person is indicted and the indictment is pending. In Texas, the statute of limitations is governed by Article 12.01 et seq. of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Following are some examples of limitations periods for common criminal charges in Texas.


There are no statutes of limitation for murder, manslaughter, and certain sexual crimes involving children. The limitations period is ten (10) years for certain theft cases involving real estate, theft by a public servant, forgery, injury to elderly or disabled persons, and sexual assaults not involving children.


For misapplication of fiduciary property, securing the execution of government documents by fraud, and identity theft the SOL is seven (7) years. For other theft charges, robbery, kidnapping, and burglary the limitations period is five (5) years. For all other felonies the SOL is three (3) years and for any misdemeanor the limitations period is two (2) years.Finally, the day on which the offense was committed and the day on which an indictment or information was presented is excluded from the computation of time.


Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.


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5 thoughts on “Texas Statute of Limitations

  1. Dear Sir. Thanks for having this forum. My question is: Someone set up a business account with AMEX in January 2005. I am buying a house, had a credit report pulled and discovered this. The last charges before they stopped using it was April 2007. What are the SOL for this. I was alerted by AMEX about this in 2007, but could never resolve the issue, they finally stopped sending me bills after my explanations.

    • Ed: Thank you for commenting and your question. If you believe you are the victim of a crime (e.g. fraud), please contact law enforcement immediately to make a report. Sometimes the SOL is a bit tricky to calculate. However, once the police and prosecutors obtain all the relevant facts, they can help you understand when the SOL expires.

  2. I worked at a school for three years ending in 2008. The school falsified student transcripts, falsified attendance reports, and had no special education program. Many other crimes were also committed. Has the statute of limitations passed on all of these crimes? Please understand that the falsification of attendance reports led to the embezzlement of thousands of dollars from the state. Thanks

  3. Mr. Hall: Thank you for your question. If you believe a crime was committed, my advice is to contact local law enforcement and make a report. The police will investigate the facts, work with the prosecutor, and determine whether any statute of limitations (SOL) has expired. Please act quickly as any SOL continues to run.

Stephen Gustitis