Except for the most violent crimes, if you committed a crime in Reno, Nevada a long time ago, you may be in the clear.
Most criminal offenses in Nevada have statutes of limitations. Such statutes set forth the time within which prosecutors must file charges for a criminal offense. If a statute of limitations has run for a given crime, and prosecutors file criminal charges, the accused can move to have those charges dismissed.
In Nevada, criminal statutes of limitations are set forth in NRS 171.080, et seq. The time periods in which prosecutors must file charges after a crime has allegedly been committed are as follows:
- Theft: 4 years
- Robbery: 4 years
- Burglary: 4 years
- Forgery: 4 years
- Arson: 4 years
- Business fraud: 4 years
- All other felonies (other than murder, terrorism, sexual assault, or sex trafficking): 3 years
- Misdemeanors: 1 year
- Gross misdemeanors: 2 years
There is no statute of limitations for murder in Nevada.
Special rules that can act to extend the statute of limitation apply to certain offenses.
- Sexual assault and sex trafficking: 4-year statute of limitations, HOWEVER, if a victim of a sexual assault or sex trafficking or a person authorized to act on their behalf files a written report concerning the sexual assault or sex trafficking with a law enforcement officer during those four years, there is no statute of limitations and an accused can be prosecuted at any time. (NRS 171.083)
- Sexual abuse or sex trafficking of a child: An action must be commenced before:
- The victim is 36 years old if the victim discovers or reasonably should have discovered that he or she was a victim of the sexual abuse or sex trafficking by the date on which the victim reaches that age; or 43 years old if the victim does not discover and reasonably should not have discovered that he or she was a victim of the sexual abuse or sex trafficking by the date on which the victim reaches 36 years of age. (NRS 171.095)
- Offenses conducted in a secret matter: the statute of limitations doesn't start running until the offense is discovered by law enforcement. (NRS 171.095)
If you have questions about criminal statutes of limitations in Reno, Nevada, please give our experienced Reno criminal defense lawyers a call. (Also see our article, Statutes of Limitations in Nevada.)