The term “statute of limitations” indicates the limited period during which an injured person can file a lawsuit against someone who harmed them.
The statute of limitations for criminal charges in Maryland varies according to the specific crime. Some crimes in Maryland have no statute of limitations, which means that charges can be filed at any time after the alleged crime occurred. These crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual offenses involving a minor, and certain child abuse offenses. However, other felony and misdemeanor crimes are subject to the statute of limitations, including:
In Maryland, anyone injured by someone driving, operating, moving, or in physical control of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, a drug, a combination of drugs, a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, or a controlled dangerous substance generally has three years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court.
Maryland does not have a specific statute of limitations for drug charges. Instead, drug offenses are typically subject to the statutes of limitations that apply to felonies and misdemeanors in the state, depending on the severity of the drug-related crime and other factors. Here’s a general overview:
- Felony Drug Charges: In most cases, felony drug offenses in Maryland are subject to a statute of limitations of three years. However, the specific type of drug offense, the amount of drugs involved, and other factors might affect how the statute of limitations is applied.
- Misdemeanor Drug Charges: Misdemeanor drug offenses typically have a one-year statute of limitations.
The application of statutes of limitations for drug charges in Maryland could be influenced by various factors, including the specific circumstances of the case, changes in the law, and legal precedent.
The statute of limitations for assault charges in Maryland varies according to the specific type of assault and the severity of the offense. Maryland law classifies assault into different degrees, and each degree may have its own statute of limitations:
- First-Degree Assault: First-degree assault typically involves a more severe form of assault with the intent to cause serious injury or with a deadly weapon, and generally has a statute of limitations of three years.
- Second-Degree Assault: Second-degree assault, a less severe form of assault, typically has a statute of limitations of one year.
Maryland felony theft charges—cases where the value of the stolen property exceeded a certain threshold, typically $1,500—are subject to a statute of limitations of three years, but may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Misdemeanor theft charges—cases where the value of the stolen property was under the felony theft threshold—generally have a statute of limitations of one year in Maryland.
Maryland applies different statutes of limitations to various sex crimes, depending on the severity of the offense. The state has no statute of limitations for the prosecution of the following sex crimes:
- Sexual offenses involving a minor (child sexual abuse)
- Attempt to commit these crimes
- Conspiracy to commit these crimes
For many other sex crimes that do not fall into the above categories, Maryland typically applies a statute of limitations of one year from the date the offense was committed. However, the specific details of the case and changes in the law could influence the application of the statute of limitations.
Maryland does not have a specific statute of limitations for domestic violence crimes. Instead, the statutes of limitations for domestic violence-related offenses are typically determined by the underlying criminal charges associated with the domestic violence incident.
Domestic violence might involve a range of criminal charges, and the statutes of limitations for these charges would apply to domestic violence cases. Here are some general guidelines:
- Assault and Battery: Maryland typically applies a statute of limitations of one year for misdemeanor assault and battery charges, and three years for felony assault and battery charges.
- Harassment and Stalking: Harassment and stalking cases could be subject to a statute of limitations of one year for misdemeanor offenses and three years for felony offenses, depending on the specific charges.
- Violations of Protective Orders: Violations of protective orders are generally subject to statutes of limitations based on the underlying charges. Violating a protective order might lead to harassment or stalking charges.
Maryland applies different statutes of limitations for juvenile crimes than for adult crimes, and the statute of limitations for juvenile crimes can vary based on the severity of the offense and the age of the juvenile at the time of the alleged crime:
- Serious Juvenile Offenses: Maryland does not have a specific statute of limitations for serious juvenile offenses. However, serious offenses committed by juveniles, such as murder, sexual assault, or certain violent crimes, might be prosecuted even if they occurred when the individual was a minor, and there was no time limit for filing charges.
- Less Serious Juvenile Offenses: The statute of limitations varies for less serious juvenile offenses like theft or property crimes, and in some cases, charges must be filed before the juvenile turns 21 years old. The specific statute of limitations depends on the nature of the offense and other factors.
- Status Offenses: Status offenses, such as truancy or curfew violations, are typically subject to different rules and procedures in Maryland juvenile court. These offenses often focus on addressing the behavior of the juvenile rather than imposing criminal penalties.
Misdemeanor offenses in Maryland typically have a statute of limitations of one year. However, some misdemeanor crimes in Maryland may have different statutes of limitations, and the application of these statutes may be influenced by the details of the case.
If you have specific questions about a case or need to determine the statute of limitations for a particular offense in Maryland, it is critical that you consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney in the state. Maryland criminal law can be complex, and a qualified attorney can provide you with the most current and relevant legal guidance based on the circumstances of your case.
If you were charged with a crime in Maryland, Carey Law Office is ready to help. With locations in Bowie, Crofton, and Owings (we also serve Calvert County), our lawyers have helped numerous defendants obtain their freedom. Call our offices or contact us today to schedule a consultation.
My name is Joe Carey, and I am the founder and principal attorney of the Carey Law Office. I have lived in Maryland my entire life. I grew up in a small town in Prince George’s County and, with the help of my partner in life, Nancy, I raised my family here: three exceptional children (a son and two daughters), and two goofy, spoiled black Labrador Retrievers. Learn More