In the state of New York, it’s required that a criminal action be started within a certain period of limitation that’s described below.

Except as otherwise provided, a prosecution for a class A felony, or else a rape in the first degree, or else a crime defined or formerly defined in section 130.50 of the penal law, or else aggravated sexual abuse, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree may be started at any time. Here are the time requirements for other offenses:

  • A prosecution for any other felony needs to be started within five years after the commission of the crime.
  • A prosecution for a misdemeanor needs to be started within two years after the commission of the crime.
  • A prosecution for a petty offense needs to be started within one year after the commission of the crime.

What are the periods of limitation?

The periods of limitation for bringing up criminal actions are extended as shown below:

  • A prosecution for the crime of larceny committed by someone in violation of a fiduciary duty may be started within one year, with all due diligence, should’ve been discovered by the plaintiff or by someone under legal duty to represent him who isn’t implicated in the commission of the crime.
  • Prosecution for any offense that involves misconduct by a public servant may be started at any time during the defendant’s service, or else within five years after the termination of service. In no case will the period of limitation be extended more than five years.
  • A prosecution for any crime described in the environmental conservation law may be started within four years after the facts are discovered or, in due diligence, should’ve been discovered by a public servant who has the responsibility to enforce the provisions.
  • A prosecution for any misdemeanor in the tax law of the city of New York must be started within three years after the commission of the crime.
  • A prosecution for sexual conduct against a child in the second degree may be started within five years of the commission of the most recent act.
  • Other than a sexual offense against a child less than eighteen years old, incest in the first, second, or third degree committed against a child less than eighteen years old, or use of a child in a sexual performance, the period of limitation will not start to run until the child reaches the age of eighteen or else the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or register of child abuse, whichever happens first.
  • A prosecution for any felony must be started within eight years after the commission of the crime, provided there’s a prosecution for a felony if the commission of the crime resulted in or created the risk of death or serious physical injury to another person. The prosecution can be started at any time, provided that nothing here will be used to shorten or lessen the period in which a prosecution for a felony may be started.

How are periods of limitation calculated?

In calculating the periods of limitation that are applicable, the following periods will not be included:

  • Any period after the commission of the crime when the defendant was outside the state of New York or the defendant’s whereabouts were unknown and not able to be ascertained by the exercise of due diligence. In no event will the period of limitation be extended by more than five years.
  • When the prosecution for an offense is lawfully started within the prescribed period of limitation, and when an accusatory instrument is dismissed by an authorized court under directions allowing the lodging of another charge for the same offense or an offense based on the same sort of conduct, the period extending from the starting of this prosecution all the way to the dismissal of the accusatory instrument doesn’t make up a part of the period of limitation that is applicable to starting the prosecution under a new charge.

So if you’re facing charges, or would like to make sure that you’re protected should charges ever be leveled against you, you can count on the years of experience that NYC criminal lawyers with Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC offer, with an experience that’s sure to illuminate for you the complexities of New York state law without overwhelming you. At Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC, the people always come first.