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What does a crime’s limitation period mean?

The limitation period of a crime is the time by which criminal consequences can be ordered for the events of a crime. Different crimes have different limitation periods from two (2) years to twenty (20) years. The more serious the crime is, the longer the limitation period is.

For example, an assault that is more serious than simple assault will expire in five (5) years and aggravated assault will expire in twenty (20) years. Such crimes, which are subject to a life sentence, do not ever expire.

The limitation period starts to run from the time when the crime was committed or when knowledge of it was gained. The prosecutor must prosecute within the limitation period. Before that the police must have time to investigate the crime.