Statute of Limitations for Crimes in Arizona: A.R.S. 13-107
The statute of limitations in Arizona describes the amount of time that the prosecution has to bring a case against a defendant following an alleged crime. These time limitations vary depending on the offense committed, with particularly serious crimes holding no time limitation at all. These limitations are laid out in A.R.S. 13-107. Prosecution is considered to have officially commenced when an indictment, information, or complaint is filed.
Offenses With No Time Limitations
The following offenses hold no time limitation and their prosecution may begin at any time:
- Any homicide.
- Conspiracy to commit homicide that result in the death of a person.
- Any class 2 felony sexual offense.
- Any class 2 felony sexual exploitation of children.
- Any violent sexual assault.
- Unlawful use of infectious biological substance or radiological agent.
- Child sex trafficking.
- Any misuse of public monies.
- A felony involving falsification of public records.
- Any attempt to commit any of the above-listed offenses.
Time Limitations for Other Offenses
Prosecution for other offenses must commence with the following time periods after actual discovery:
- Seven years – Class 2 through Class 6 felonies.
- One year – Misdemeanor offenses.
- Six months – Petty offenses.
Time Limitation Exceptions
Some offenses have time limitations that are specific to them. These include:
Accidents (Moving Violations) Involving Serious Physical Injury or Death – A prosecution for this offense must be commenced within two years after actual discovery of the offense by the State or appropriate political subdivision.
DUI – A prosecution for this offense involving a collision that resulted in serious physical injury or death as identified in a written accident report must be commenced within two years after actual discovery of the offense by the state or the appropriate political subdivision.
Extreme and Super Extreme DUI – A prosecution for an extreme or super extreme DUI involving a collision that resulted in serious physical injury or death as identified in a written accident report must be commenced within two years after actual discovery of the offense by the State or the appropriate political subdivision.
Additional Time Limitation Considerations
The following facts are of note regarding this statute of limitations:
- The period of limitation does not run during any time that the accused individual is out of Arizona or has no reasonably ascertainable place of residence within Arizona.
- The period of limitation does not run for serious, violent, or aggravated offenders accused of serious offenses during any time when the accused offender’s identity is unknown.
- The time limitation for class 6 felony offenses remains seven years, even if the court convicts or designated the offense as a misdemeanor.
- If a filed complaint, indictment, or information is dismissed, a new prosecution may only commence within the subsequent six months following the dismissal’s finalization.
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