Statutes Of Limitations In Florida: When You Can Be Charged Years After A Crime
It is true that the chances of solving a crime decrease after the first 48 hours. However, even if months or years have passed, perpetrators can get caught. New witnesses may come forward or new evidence can turn up leading to an arrest. Depending on the specific type of crime, laws pertaining to statutes of limitation dictate whether criminal charges in Seminole can be filed.
Florida Woman Arrested For Brothers Death Seven Years After The Fact
A 62-year-old Tamarac woman was recently arrested for her brother’s shooting death. The crime itself is shocking, as is the fact that she attempted to cover it up only to be arrested seven years after the fact.
According to a September 9, 2021 Sun-Sentinel News report, the alleged shooter was living in Dania Beach at the time the incident happened. Police have not released many details surrounding the case, only saying that the woman shot her brother then buried his body with the help of a brother-in-law in the backyard of her home. In the aftermath, they apparently told people the man left the country, leaving them with all his properties and bank accounts. In 2017, the man’s mother and another sister reported him as missing to the FBI. The following year, 2018, the sister who allegedly murdered him was arrested after writing bad checks on his accounts.
All was quiet in the case until June of 2021, when the Broward County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that a body was buried in the backyard. A month later, human remains were uncovered, which the Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory determined were those of the missing brother. Seven years after the crime, the alleged shooter was arrested and currently faces murder charges.
Statutes of Limitations In Pinellas County Criminal Cases
Statutes of limitations (SOL) apply in both criminal and civil matters. They dictate the amount of time you have after an incident occurs in which to initiate legal proceedings. Under the Florida Statutes, statutes of limitations in criminal matters depend on the type of charges filed and include:
- For second degree misdemeanors, such as simple assault, petit theft, or driving on a suspended license, the SOL s one year;
- For first degree misdemeanors, such as DUI, marijuana possession, or shoplifting, the SOL is two years;
- For second and third-degree felonies, such as aggravated assault, burglary, or leaving the scene of an accident, the SOL is three years;
- For first-degree felonies, such as rape, kidnapping, homicide, or assault of a police officer, the SOL is four years.
For felonies that are capital offenses, such as murder, there is no limit to when charges could be brought in the case.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
At Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff, we provide the professional legal representation you need when facing criminal charges in Pinellas County. Call or contact our Seminole criminal attorneys online to request a consultation today.