Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
What is a statute of limitations in criminal cases?
A statute of limitations is the time limit that prosecutors have to press charges. If the time limit passes without charges being filed, then you cannot be prosecuted for the crime – even if you were guilty.
The purpose of statutes of limitations is to motivate prosecutors to act quickly. The more time goes by, the more evidence disappears and memories fade. This decreases the likelihood of prosecutors being able to build a strong case against you.
Certain Colorado crimes have no statute of limitations, such as murder and sex crimes against a child. This means you can face charges no matter how much time has passed since the alleged criminal act.2
What is the discovery rule?
Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations for theft crimes does not begin running when the crime takes place. Instead, the statute of limitations pauses (“tolls“) until the theft is discovered.3
Example: On January 1, 2023, Fred steals his co-worker Jerry’s iPad – worth $1,000 – from his desk drawer. Jerry does not realize the spare ear pods are missing until one month later on February 1, 2023. Prosecutors now have 18 months from February 1, 2023 – the date the theft was discovered – to file charges against Fred.
The statute of limitations in the above example is 18 months because the ear pods fall in the misdemeanor theft range of $300 to less than $2,000. Plus the statute of limitations for misdemeanor theft crimes is 18 months after discovery.
The statute of limitations for Colorado theft crimes begins running when the theft is discovered.
What are the penalties for theft?
The punishment for most Colorado theft crimes depends on the amount stolen.
Michael Becker has over a quarter-century's worth of experience as an attorney and more than 100 trials under his belt. He is a sought-after legal commentator and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Florida.