My son was arrested for theft 4 years ago. He spent some time in jail than was transferred to a half way house. He got in some trouble one night and rather than face up he left the half way house and moved to another state.He is currently attending college and doing well. He would like to return to Colorado some day to visit myself and his mom. How long is the statute of limitations on this?
Employment / Labor Attorney
I need a little more information. I practice in Washington, and in most states the statute of limitations varies from 10 years for major felonies to 3 years to C class felonies...some states don't have an SOL on murder.
But your son, was charged, convicted, and sentenced. If he was living in the halfway house because of a court order, and he absconded (ran away) he could very well have an active warrant for his arrest from his probation officer or the judge supervising his case. This warrant can stay active for many years.
Depending on the "trouble" he got in one night, that offense could also be charged by the State if they found him and had enough evidence to prosecute.
So, he could be arrested on the outstanding warrant, charged with a crime for the "trouble" night, and changed with absconding probation for leaving the halfway/probation house without court approval.
Robert S. Milesnick
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Family Law Attorney
There are a few issues here which affect the answer to your question:
1. If your son was convicted in the original theft case and sentenced, then the statute of limitations is irrelevant. He is already convicted and will need to serve out the balance of his sentence;
2. Your son has also committed the separate crime of "Escape." Whether his escape is a felony or a misdemeanor depends on facts which you have not provided;
3. Whatever the statute of limitations generally is for Escape, the time he spends outside Colorado, up to five years, is not included for the purpose of calculating when the statute of limitations has expired; and
4. I have not been able to find any definitive authority, but "Escape" may be a continuing offense, in which case the statute of limitations does not start running until he turns himself in or is arrested and returned to confinement in Colorado.