Q: If I have been charged with a crime does the statute of limitations apply? It’s for theft under 1000 in MN
I was never caught but mailed a citation that I never received because they had the wrong address however I paid my bail for the warrant and am going to court it’s for a misdemeanor theft and they want jail time but it’s almost been 3 years since it happened so if I wait it out will it be dismissed?
A: The date that the matter was charged out controls the statute of limitations, not the date that an arraignment occurs or the date that you are convicted. This is not going to be a successful strategy.
A: Expiration of the applicable Minnesota Statute of Limitations period would be a defense to a criminal charge filed with the court after that time period had already expired. A Citation with a tab charge filed with the court, of a Complaint filed with the court prior to the expiration of the Statute of Limitations period would mean that that would not be a viable defense. Since "it's almost been three years" and since the shortest Minnesota Statue of Limitations period is three years; and, since a criminal charge has already been filed with the court, that would not be a viable defense. There may be other defenses, however. Be sure to discuss all the facts and circumstances with your lawyer.
You are correct in that there is a 3-year statute of limitations for theft (provided the value of what was stolen is <$35,000). However, the statute of limitations (SOL) in criminal matters only applies to whether the person has been charged. For instance, if the offense was committed on February 15, 2020 and you still haven't received a citation or summons to this day, then a dismissal would be proper since the SOL has elapsed.
Since a citation and warrant were issued within the allotted 3-year period, the SOL does not apply. If the State has unnecessarily delayed the disposition of this case, that might be grounds for a dismissal. However, just waiting it out will not result in a dismissal if the State is intent on pursuing the case.
I hope this helps. Best of luck.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.