The Statute of Limitations in Michigan is governed by MCL 767.24, unless the specific crime contains its own limitations period. The statute of limitations is a nonjurisdictional, waivable affirmative defense. This blog contains general information which is not intented to be substituted for the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as the attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC, when accessing your own particular case or circumstance. There are several crimes that have no limitations periods, such as: Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Solicitation to Commit Murder, 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Crimes involving Explosives and Bombs, and Crimes concerning Terrorism (MCL 767.24(1)). There are several crimes that come with a 10 year limitation period or by the alleged victim’s 21st birthday – whichever is later: Child Sexually Abusive Activity or Material, 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, and Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct. There is no limitations period for a violation of any of the above referenced offenses if the offender is unidentified and DNA evidence is developed which ultimately identifies a Defendant. If an individual is identified, the Prosecution has 10 years after the Defendant is identified or by the alleged victim’s 21st birthday, whichever is later (MCL 767.24(2)(a)). According to MCL 767.24(3) there is a 10 year Statute of Limitations period for: Kidnapping, Extortion, Assault with Intent to Commit Murder, Attempted Murder, Manslaughter, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, and 1st Degree Home Invasion. According to MCL 767.24(5) an indictment for False Pretenses involving Real Property, Forgery or Uttering and Publishing of an Instrument affecting an interest in Real Property, or Mortgage Fraud may be found and filedwithin 10 years after the offense was committed or within 10 years after the instrument affecting real property was recorded, whichever occurs later. According to MCL 767.24(4) an indictment for Identity Theft or Attempted Identity Theft may be found and filedwithin 6 years after the offense is committed, or if evidence of the violation is obtained and the individual who committed the offense has not been identified, an indictment may be found and filed at any time after the offense is committed, but not more than 6 years after the individual is identified. Pursuant to MCL 767.24(6) there is a 6 year Statute of Limitations for: all other offenses. There are some situations which may toll the Statute of Limitations period, such as if the Defendant leaves the state of Michigan, which in effect extends the period for which a charge can be brought (see MCL 767.24(7)). If the offense is deemed to be an "continuing offense", prosecution for the offense is not barred by the Statute of Limitations. You should always seek the advice of a competent criminal defense attorney if the Statute of Limitations may apply to a prior situation which you may have been involved with. It is important to note that a plea of guilty or no contest waives the Defendant’s ability to assert the Statute of Limitations.
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Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your family. There are many lawyers who claim to do more than what they are able - just as there are many surgeons in the world that are no better than butchers. Do not settle for a legal hack job. Practicing law is a skill that develops over time with experience, commitment, dedication, and God given talent. There are no amateur attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC– only experienced professionals that are guided by the humanity in the individuals we serve, and the drive not to settle for what is easy over what is right.