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.

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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