Is there a statute of limitations for a dui in pennsylvania?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Norristown, PA

I got a dui in PA 6 years ago and never showed up to court because I moved out of the country before the trial. If I come back will I be arrested? Is there a time period when the charges will just go away? Wishful thinking...Thanks for any help

Attorney answers (6)

  1. 5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Agree with my colleagues. Unfortunately the statute of limitations will not apply because you have already been charged. There is probably an outstanding warrant on the case. However, the age may affect the Commonwealth's ability to prosecute the case. You should consult with an attorney about clearing the warrant and resolving your case if you have not already done so, if you plan to return.

    David Bradley
    Bradley Law Firm. LLC

  2. 4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The statute of limitations only applies to the time between the incident and when the charges are filed. Once, the charges are filed the statute is no longer considered to be running. In short, a person cannot leave the country and return X amount of years later in order to get around the statute. Almost certainly, there is a bench warrant. You need to clean this up or else you will be arrested by the police. Contact an attorney immediately.

    Michael L. Doyle
    (215) 735-5900

  3. 4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It would not apply to you if your bench warranted. Hire a local lawyer and deal with it.
    Ellis Klein

  4. 4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues above. It is very important that you contact local counsel to assist you with this matter. Your failure to appear will most certainly have resulted in a bench warrant being issued for you. When you come back into the U.S, Immigration will have computer access to your warrant and will likely detain you when you cross the border ( that can be at an airport) It is therefore important to coordinate with local counsel to arrange your surrender on the warrant as close to home as possible. I've had clients that live in Montgomery County PA but when they came back into the country they came through other cities ie New York. They actually sat in the out of state prison waiting to be extridited to PA longer than they would have served if convicted.

    Adam D. Zucker, Esq.
    Mudrick & Zucker, PC
    Conshohocken, PA
    (610) 832-0100

    This information does not create an attorney /client relationship and should not be use or relied upon to make any... more
  5. 5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes there is a statute of limitations but no it does not help you because the charges have already been filed, presumably within the statute. Now you have a warrant that will never go away until you deal with it. Hire a lawyer to resolve it.

  6. Answered . The charges will not just go away. There will always be a bench warrant on you until the bench warrant is lifted by appearing in court. The statute of limitations only takes place between the incident date and the time the charges are filed. In your case, the charges have already been filed and the statute of limitations is not an issue. It would be best to hire an attorney.

Related Topics


The definition, charges, and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) vary by state and depend on a number of factors.

Avvo advisor logo@2x

Need an answer to your questions within 15 minutes?

  • 15-minute phone call
  • Ask any questions
  • $39 flat fee
  • Money-back guarantee
Talk to an attorney now

Can't find what you're looking for?

Ask span5@2x

Ask a question on our public forum.

Ask a lawyer
Advisor span6@2x

Have an attorney contact you privately.

Right now.

Icon lock@2x
Secure conversation. Your details remain between you and your attorney.
Icon clock@2x
Get an answer guaranteed. Be assured that a lawyer will contact you to help with your legal issue.
Start your session now