Examining Ohio’s Criminal Law: Statute of Limitations

Criminal DefenseFelony

February 22, 2017

Statutes of limitations set forth the maximum time period within which the government may charge an individual with the commission of a crime. Failing to level the charges within the applicable time period will likely result in dismissal of the case.

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Ohio Criminal Statute of Limitations

While the statute of limitations usually varies with the crime, generally, violent crimes have a longer statute of limitations, and some crimes, such as murder, have no statute of limitations. In certain instances, the statute of limitations may be tolled, or suspended, which grants the state additional time to commence a legal action.

The following chart outlines the statute of limitations for common criminal offenses recognized in Ohio:

OffenseStatute of LimitationsOhioRevised Code Section
MurderNone§ 2901.13(A)(2)
Aggravated MurderNone§ 2901.13(A)(2)
Arson6 or 20 years§ 2901.13(A)(1)(a) or 2901.13(A)(3)(a)
Assault1, 3, or 20 years§ 2901.13(A)(1)(a) or (b) or 2901.13(A)(3)(a)
Burglary20 years§ 2901.13(A)(3)(a)
Kidnapping20 years§ 2901.13(A)(3)(a)
Manslaughter20 years§ 2901.13(A)(3)(a)
Rape20 years§ 2901.13(A)(3)(a)
Robbery20 years§ 2901.13(A)(3)(a)
Theft1 or 3 years§ 2901.13(A)(1)(a) or (b)
Receiving Stolen Property1 or 3 years§ 2901.13(A)(1)(a) or (b)

Tolling the Statute of LimitationsIn some cases, a statute of limitations may be put on hold or “tolled” for a certain period of time. The most common reason a statute of limitations is tolled is because the corpus delecti, Latin for “body of crime”, has not been discovered. Generally, this means that the statute of limitations for a crime will not begin to run until the criminal nature of the act has been discovered by someone. For example, for a charge of homicide, the statute of limitations would not begin to run until it was discovered that an individual had died as the result of a criminal act.

The statute of limitations for criminal offenses are often very complex and the provided chart is meant only as a general guide. An experienced Akron criminal defense attorney can guide you through your legal options.

If you have questions regarding Ohio’s criminal law, contact the experienced attorneys at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today by calling 330-762-7477.