A felony is a serious crime, for which the penalty is usually at least a year imprisonment if convicted. Some felonies can result in decades behind bars or even life in prison. When you are facing felony charges, you need to explore all possible legal arguments you can make and all defenses that you can raise in order to try to avoid being convicted and dealing with the consequences that result.
One important matter to consider is the length of time that has passed since you allegedly committed the felony offense. Prosecutors must move forward with prosecution within the statute of limitations, or the case against you will be time barred and you can no longer be charged.
At LV Criminal Defense, we help clients to get cases dismissed because too much time has passed since the alleged wrongful acts. We also explore other procedural options for fighting charges and all possible defenses you can raise to try to avoid a guilty verdict. Our Las Vegas defense law firm has extensive experience representing clients accused of felonies, and we can bring this experience to your case.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Felonies in Nevada?
The statute of limitations establishing a prosecutor’s deadline for bringing felony charges is set forth in Nevada Revised Statutes 171.085. Under this code section, prosecutors have four years to commence a case against defendants who are guilty of specific listed felonies. These crimes include theft, robbery, burglary, forgery, arson, sexual assault, certain securities crimes, certain deceptive trade practices, and certain property crimes.
For all other felonies, other than those listed in 171.085(1), the statute of limitations is three years from the time the offense was committed. If a prosecutor does not commence a case against a defendant within this time period, and no exceptions apply, then the prosecutor has forever lost the opportunity to make a case based on the criminal acts.
There are, however, some exceptions to this general rule. For example, when a sexual assault against a child has been committed, the prosecutor may bring the case up to the child’s 21st birthday or up until the child’s 28th birthday if the victim did not discover the sexual abuse by age 21. This special rule for sexual assault is found in N.R.S. 171.095, which also stipulates that the time limit for the statute of limitations does not start until a felony is discovered if the felony is committed in secret.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
There are also exceptions for murder and acts of terrorism, which have no statute of limitations, and for kidnapping, attempted murder, and sexual assault crimes. When a kidnapping or an attempted murder occurs, the prosecutor has an additional five years to make a case after the normal statute of limitations as long as a police report was filed reporting the crime. When a sexual assault occurs and is reported, there is no limit imposed on the time a prosecutor has to make a case.
What if Your Case is Past the Statute of Limitations?
If the statute of limitations has passed, you no longer need to worry about being tried for a felony offense. The time limit exists to ensure that no one lives with the constant threat of prosecution for decades-old crimes.
Unfortunately, when a prosecutor has nine years or has no limit on the time to make a case, a great deal of evidence can be lost and it can be a bigger challenge to make a case to defend yourself. LV Criminal Defense has extensive experience helping clients in these challenging situations where a lengthy period of time has passed between the alleged offense and the prosecution.
How Can a Las Vegas Defense Lawyer Help You
Our Las Vegas defense attorneys can help you to argue for dismissal of all charges if too much time has passed. We also provide aggressive legal representation when you must defend against charges. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the legal services we offer to clients facing felony charges in Nevada.