Statute of Limitation

A “statute of limitation” is a rule that says you can’t be prosecuted for a crime after a certain amount of time. There is no limitation for capital crimes in Louisiana, which are punishable by death or life in prison, but what about other crimes?

Louisiana code of criminal procedure 572 lays out the limitations for most crimes. They are: 6 years for felonies that must be punished with hard labor, 4 years for other felonies, 2 years for misdemeanors punishable by a fine or imprisonment, and 6 months for misdemeanors only punishable by fines or forfeiture.
None of this applies to sex crimes, which have their own rules given in article 571.1. For those, the period is 30 years and if the victim was under 18, it starts when they turn 18.

This time limitation can be suspended or interrupted in a number of ways, such as if the defendant is in hiding, and for other certain specific crimes. For example, Article 573.3 says that the time limit doesn’t run for a crime against the Firefighters’ Retirement System until the crime is discovered.

Learn more about Criminal Law