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There are several situations in the state of California and across the country where civil proceedings, as well as criminal proceedings, have what is called a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the length of time a claim can be filed or criminal charges can be pursued. Even though this is true, the California statute of limitations doesn’t exist in some circumstances. 

In the state of California, Penal Code 799 PC states that certain crimes have no expiration date as to when charges can be brought against a defendant. The following circumstances are such that at any time a prosecutor can bring about charges:

  • Crimes where death could be the final verdict, as would be the case in a felony-murder case.
  • Crimes where life in prison without the possibility of parole could be the final verdict like would be the situation in a murder case.
  • Stealing public money.

When there is evidence produced or found which leads to the belief that an incident was criminal in nature, the statutory period to bring a case is activated.

What is the Purpose of a Statute of Limitations?

Outside of the circumstances listed above, there will be a statute of limitations applied. The reason there is a time limit to bringing about charges or a civil suit is fairness. Defendants being accused of either a civil offense or a criminal charge still deserve to, in the United States of America, have a certain level of justice. As time passes evidence can be altered, forgotten, or destroyed. 

Specifically, when it comes to criminal charges where a person’s life can be massively impacted by the outcome of a case, it is important that only the clearest, most relevant, and undeniable evidence is used. When it comes to the time in prison, fines, and a criminal record, it is vitally important that a case is conducted with impartialness against a defendant. Defendants who may or may not have committed a minor offense that wouldn’t render them life in jail or the death sentence should have a clear deadline for when a victim can bring about charges. These individuals shouldn’t have to worry that for the rest of their lives they could be thrown into the court system and potentially jail for something that fell short of a crime egregious enough to lead to prison for life or death.

However, in situations where the crimes are so shocking or appalling such as the case of murder, a statute of limitations is not applicable. When evidence points towards a specific person who may have taken the life of another, this crime is allowed to be adjudicated in the court system to determine guilt or innocence at any time. In this scenario, a person who committed a crime so despicable that the legal system would apply either life in jail or the death sentence, it is important to the victim that justice be served. This is why these cases don’t hold a statute of limitations.

Speak with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Regardless of the nature of your crime or how significant the charges are against you, working with the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group is your best way to protect your constitutional rights and legal justice. Schedule your free consultation today with the California criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group by calling 877-977-7750.

Shaheen Manshoory
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