Your Future is Worth Fighting For.

Time Limitations Attorney in Covington, Louisiana

The Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure governs the time in which the State has in instituting prosecution. If prosecution has not been instituted timely, a motion to quash can be filed requesting the charges be dismissed due to the State's failure to timely institute its' case. Prosecution is instituted by indictment or by filing a bill of information.

La. C.Cr.P. art. 571. Crimes for which there is no time limitation

There is no time limitation upon the institution of prosecution for any crime for which the punishment may be death or life imprisonment or for the crime of forcible or second degree rape (R.S. 14:42.1).

La C.Cr.P. art. 571.1. Time limitation for certain sex offenses

Except as provided by Article 572 of this Chapter, the time within which to institute prosecution of the following sex offenses, regardless of whether the crime involves force, serious physical injury, death, or is punishable by imprisonment at hard labor shall be thirty years: attempted first degree rape, also formerly titled aggravated rape (R.S. 14:27, R.S. 14:42), attempted second degree rape, also formerly titled forcible rape (R.S. 14:27, R.S. 14:42.1), sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.1), second degree sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.2), oral sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.3), human trafficking (R.S. 14:46.2(B)(2) or (3)), trafficking of children for sexual purposes (R.S. 14:46.3), felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile (R.S. 14:80), indecent behavior with juveniles (R.S. 14:81), pornography involving juveniles (R.S. 14:81.1), molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability (R.S. 14:81.2), prostitution of persons under eighteen (R.S. 14:82.1), enticing persons into prostitution (R.S. 14:86), crime against nature (R.S. 14:89), aggravated crime against nature (R.S. 14:89.1), crime against nature by solicitation (R.S. 14:89.2(B)(3)), that involves a victim under seventeen years of age. This thirty-year period begins to run when the victim attains the age of eighteen.

La. C.Cr.P. art. 572. Limitation of prosecution of noncapital offenses

A. Except as provided in Articles 571 and 571.1, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for an offense not punishable by death or life imprisonment, unless the prosecution is instituted within the following periods of time after the offense has been committed:

(1) Six years, for a felony necessarily punishable by imprisonment at hard labor.

(2) Four years, for a felony not necessarily punishable by imprisonment at hard labor.

(3) Two years, for a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, or imprisonment, or both.

(4) Six months, for a misdemeanor punishable only by a fine or forfeiture.

B.(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 571.1 and Paragraph A of this Article, prosecutions for any sex offense may be commenced beyond the time limitations set forth in this Title if the identity of the offender is established after the expiration of such time limitation through the use of a DNA profile.

(2) A prosecution under the exception provided by this Paragraph shall be commenced within three years from the date on which the identity of the suspect is established by DNA testing.

(3) For purposes of this Article, "DNA" means deoxyribonucleic acid, which is located in cells and provides an individual's personal genetic blueprint and which encodes genetic information that is the basis of human heredity and forensic identification.

(4) This Paragraph shall have retroactive application to crimes committed prior to June 20, 2003.

C. Upon expiration of the time period in which a prosecution may be instituted, any bail bond applicable to that prosecution which bond has not been forfeited shall also expire, and all obligations of that bail undertaking shall be extinguished as a matter of law.

If Prosecution was Not Instituted in a Timely Manner
You Have options

La. C.Cr.P. art. 573. Running of time limitations; exception

The time limitations established by Article 572 shall not commence to run as to the following offenses until the relationship or status involved has ceased to exist when:

(1) The offense charged is based on the misappropriation of any money or thing of value by one who, by virtue of his office, employment, or fiduciary relationship, has been entrusted therewith or has control thereof.

(2) The offense charged is extortion or false accounting committed by a public officer or employee in his official capacity.

(3) The offense charged is public bribery.

(4) The offense charged is aggravated battery (R.S. 14:34) and the victim is under seventeen years of age.

Art. 573. Running of time limitations; exception

The time limitations established by Article 572 shall not commence to run as to the following offenses until the relationship or status involved has ceased to exist when:

(1) The offense charged is based on the misappropriation of any money or thing of value by one who, by virtue of his office, employment, or fiduciary relationship, has been entrusted therewith or has control thereof.

(2) The offense charged is extortion or false accounting committed by a public officer or employee in his official capacity.

(3) The offense charged is public bribery.

(4) The offense charged is aggravated battery (R.S. 14:34) and the victim is under seventeen years of age.

La C.Cr.P. art. 573.1. Running of time limitations; exception; exploitation of persons with infirmities

The time limitations established by Article 572 of this Code shall not commence to run as to the crime of exploitation of persons with infirmities (R.S. 14:93.4) until the crime is discovered by a competent victim, or in the case of an incompetent victim, by a competent third person.

La. C.Cr.P. art. 573.2. Running of time limitations; exception; video voyeurism

The time limitations established by Article 572 shall not commence to run as to the crime of video voyeurism (R.S. 14:283) until the crime is discovered by the victim.

The time periods for limitation of prosecution can be interrupted under the following circumstances:

La. C.Cr.P. art. 575. Interruption of time limitations

The periods of limitation established by this Chapter shall be interrupted when the defendant:

(1) For the purpose of avoiding detection, apprehension or prosecution, flees from the state, is outside the state, or is absent from his usual place of abode within the state; or

(2) Lacks mental capacity to proceed at trial and is committed in accordance with Article 648 of this Code.

The State has a limited amount of time to prosecute your case once prosecution has been commenced by indictment or by filing a bill of information. The Louisiana Code of Criminal procedure provides:

La. C.Cr.P. art. 578. General rule

A. Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, no trial shall be commenced nor any bail obligation be enforceable:

(1) In capital cases after three years from the date of institution of the prosecution;

(2) In other felony cases after two years from the date of institution of the prosecution; and

(3) In misdemeanor cases after one year from the date of institution of the prosecution.

B. The offense charged shall determine the applicable limitation.

The time periods may be interrupted if any of these conditions apply:

La. C.Cr.P. art. 579. Interruption of time limitation

A. The period of limitation established by Article 578 shall be interrupted if:

(1) The defendant at any time, with the purpose to avoid detection, apprehension, or prosecution, flees from the state, is outside the state, or is absent from his usual place of abode within the state; or

(2) The defendant cannot be tried because of insanity or because his presence for trial cannot be obtained by legal process, or for any other cause beyond the control of the state; or

(3) The defendant fails to appear at any proceeding pursuant to actual notice, proof of which appears of record.

B. The periods of limitation established by Article 578 shall commence to run anew from the date the cause of interruption no longer exists.

C. If the defendant fails to appear in court pursuant to any provision of this Article and the defendant is subsequently arrested, the periods of limitations established by Article 578 of this Code shall not commence to run anew until the defendant appears in person in open court where the case on the original charge is pending, or the district attorney prosecuting the original charge has notice of the defendant's custodial location. For purposes of this Paragraph, "notice" shall mean either of the following:

(1) Filing in the court record by either the defendant or his counsel advising the court of his incarceration with a copy provided to the district attorney and certification of notice provided to the district attorney.

(2) Following the seventy-two hour hearing provided by Article 230.1 of this Code, actual notice of arrest is provided to the district attorney and filed in the record of the proceeding of which the warrant against the defendant was issued.

La. C.Cr.P. art. 580. Suspension of time limitations

A. When a defendant files a motion to quash or other preliminary plea, the running of the periods of limitation established by Article 578 shall be suspended until the ruling of the court thereon; but in no case shall the state have less than one year after the ruling to commence the trial.

B. The periods of limitation established by Article 578 shall also be suspended if the court grants a continuance in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph B of Article 709.

Art. 582. Time limitations; effect of new trial

When a defendant obtains a new trial or there is a mistrial, the state must commence the second trial within one year from the date the new trial is granted, or the mistrial is ordered, or within the period established by Article 578, whichever is longer.