If someone confesses to a crime after the statute of limitations is over, would the charges be dropped?
3 attorney answers
Once a the statute of limitations runs, a person can't be charged. So theoretically if the statute for murder was 3 years (its not) a person could kill you, wait 3 years and 1 day, and then dance in the street yelling for all to hear that he did it and not face prosecution.
There are ways the time can be stopped though, such as a person leaving the jurisdiction so depending on the specific circumstances its possible the statute of limitations has not run.
The Kansas Statute of Limitations is 21-5107. As may pertain to your question it states as follows:
(a) A prosecution for rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, murder, terrorism or illegal use of weapons of mass destruction may be commenced at any time.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (e), a prosecution for a sexually violent crime as defined in K.S.A. 22-3717, and amendments thereto:
(1) When the victim is 18 years of age or older shall be commenced within 10 years or one year from the date on which the identity of the suspect is conclusively established by DNA testing, whichever is later; or
(2) when the victim is under 18 years of age shall be commenced within 10 years of the date the victim turns 18 years of age or one year from the date on which the identity of the suspect is conclusively established by DNA testing, whichever is later.
(d) Except as provided by subsection (e), a prosecution for any crime, as defined in K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-5102, and amendments thereto, not governed by subsection (a), (b) or (c) shall be commenced within five years after it is committed.
(e) The period within which a prosecution shall be commenced shall not include any period in which:
(1) The accused is absent from the state;
(2) the accused is concealed within the state so that process cannot be served upon the accused;
(3) the fact of the crime is concealed;
(6) whether the fact of the crime is concealed by the active act or conduct of the accused, there is substantially competent evidence to believe two or more of the following factors are present:
(A) The victim was a child under 15 years of age at the time of the crime;
(B) the victim was of such age or intelligence that the victim was unable to determine that the
acts constituted a crime;
(C) the victim was prevented by a parent or other legal authority from making known to law
enforcement authorities the fact of the crime whether or not the parent or other legal
authority is the accused; and
(D) there is substantially competent expert testimony indicating the victim psychologically
repressed such witness' memory of the fact of the crime, and in the expert's professional
opinion the recall of such memory is accurate and free of undue manipulation, and
substantial corroborating evidence can be produced in support of the allegations
contained in the complaint or information but in no event may a prosecution be
commenced as provided in subsection (e)(6) later than the date the victim turns 28 years of
age. Corroborating evidence may include, but is not limited to, evidence the defendant
committed similar acts against other persons or evidence of contemporaneous physical
manifestations of the crime.
(f) An offense is committed either when every element occurs, or, if a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing offense plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct or the defendant's complicity therein is terminated. Time starts to run on the day after the offense is committed.
It is not a simple question of 5 years. Sex crimes and child sex crimes have special rules. An attorney would need to know a lot more information before he could give an opinion. But, dependent on the facts, it is certainly possible that he could be charged. He should not talk about the incident with anyone other than his own attorney.
Law Office of Patrick Lewis, www.TheKansasDefender.com (913) 558-3961, This answer is intended to provide general information about the justice system. It does not provide legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It does not provide the basis for making decisions about a course of action. Legal advice requires more communication and information than is possible in this format. Many important considerations and factors need to be investigated and discussed before an attorney could give legal advice about this issue. Before making any decisions about a course of action readers are strongly encouraged to contact a lawyer and secure an attorney-client relationship. Readers must also understand that this format does not provide for confidential communication.
You must not understand the concept of Statutes of Limitations. They prohibit taking criminal action against someone after they have run, so no, he cannot be charged with this crime.