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Can I Be Tried for Old Crimes in Arkansas?

You may occasionally read about a person being charged with a crime decades after it occurred. For most crimes, however, the state has a limited time to bring charges against an alleged offender. This is known as the statute of limitations. Generally, the statute of limitations is longer for more serious crimes, and for the most heinous crimes, there is no limitation.

Arkansas statutes of limitations for crimes

The following are the statutes of limitations as specified by Arkansas criminal code: 

  • Class Y and Class A felonies must be charged within six years. An example of a Class Y felony is aggravated residential burglary. An example of a Class A felony is arson.
  • Class B (example: first-degree battery), Class C (example: first-degree criminal mischief), Class D (example: defrauding creditors) and unclassified felonies must be charged within three years.
  • Misdemeanors, violations or other infractions must be charged within one year.
  • Fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and certain other white collar crimes must be prosecuted within one year of their discovery, up to a maximum of 10 years after the crime occurred.
  • Criminal conduct by a public servant while in office may be charged up to five years after the person leaves office or five years after the crime was discovered, up to a maximum of 10 years after the crime occurred.
  • Murder has no statute of limitations.
  • Rape cases in which there is DNA evidence have no statute of limitations. 

In certain situations, the statute of limitations can be expanded, such as when the victim is a minor or the criminal suspect flees the state.

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