The maximum time period allowed for the start of legal proceedings is known as the statute of limitations. The purpose of this to ensure that prosecution in criminal cases occur in a timely manner, and so that defendants are protected in criminal cases. If the statute of limitations have passed, then the defendant is spared from having to face the charges – especially if an extended period of time has passed. Over time, evidence can get lost – and elements of the prosecutions case can get stale/weak – so this spares the defendant undue stress and hassle.
Once the statute of limitations runs out, the defendant in the case is free to go, and doesn’t need to worry about the case.
The statute of limitations varies, from one state to the next when it comes to felony drug charges. Depending on the type of felony which is committed, have states have a statute of limitation for it. Items like murder, and treason, have no statute of limitations. In order for the statute of limitations to be “running,” the defendant has to remain in the state where the felony was committed. If the individual leaves the state, and lives as a fugitive, then the statute of limitations are suspended until he/she returns. Once the defendant returns, the statute of limitations starts again.
The clock begins, and continues to run, as long as the defendant stays in the state where the crime is committed. The statute of limitations applies to the length of time when the case goes to trial, and when the criminal proceedings begin.
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