Texas Criminal Statutes of Limitation

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577


Updated October 27, 2016

Texas current criminal statutes of limitation are governed by Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 12.  The statute of limitation is the deadline for the State to file an information (the charging document in a misdemeanor) or for a grand jury to issue an indictment (in a felony). The prosecution has met the statute where they file the case prior the expiration of the statute — even if they don’t apprehend the defendant prior to the statute.  The delay in apprehending a defendant, though, is a separate issue.

2 Year Statute of Limitation:

All misdemeanors Including

  • First and Second DWI arrests
  • DWI with greater than 0.15
  • Possession of Marijuana of 4 oz or less
  • Assault causing bodily injury (with or without family violence allegation)
  • Vandalism (Criminal mischief) up to $2,500 damage
  • Theft up to $2,500

3 Year Statute of Limitation Any felony not specifically listed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 12.01 5 Year Statute of Limitation

  • Theft
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping (unless victim is under 17 years old)
  • Burglary
  • Injury to elderly or disabled individual (if done without intent)
  • Abandonment or endangering a child
  • insurance fraud

7 Year Statue of Limitation

  • Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution
  • Securing execution of a document by deception
  • A felony violation of Chapter 162 of the Tax Code
  • False statement obtain property or credit
  • Money laundering
  • Credit or debit card abuse
  • Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information

10 Year Statute of Limitation

  • Theft by executor, guardian or trustee with intent to defraud beneficiary or creditor
  • Theft by public servant of government property
  • Forgery or the uttering, using or passing of forged instruments
  • Injury to an elderly or disabled person (with intent)
  • Sexual Assault (see below for exceptions)
  • Arson

Statutes of Limitations Based on Victim’s Age

10 Years from victim’s 18th birthday

  • Injury to a Child

20 Years from the victim’s 18th birthday 

  • Sexual performance of a child
  • Aggravated Kidnapping (with intent to violate or abuse victim sexually)
  • Burglary (if done with intent to violate or abuse victim sexually)

No Statute of Limitation

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
  • Sexual Assault if there is biological matter collected and subjected to forensic DNA testing and the testing results show that the matter does not match the victim or any other person whose identity is readily ascertained.
  • Continuous sexual abuse of child or children
  • Indecency with a child
  • Leaving the scene of an accident if the accident resulted in death

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice about any legal issue, you should contact an attorney directly.  Contacting the attorney through this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Communications through this forum are not confidential. 

4 Responses to Texas Criminal Statutes of Limitation

  1. David Flournoy says:

    I mentor a man who committed insurance fraud over 10 years ago while he was living his life under the rule of drugs and alcohol. He has been sober for at least this amount time and his new life does not resemble the old one in the least; and, in an effort to right the wrongs of his past has written a letter and enclosed payment to the company. Should he be concerned that he will face any type of criminal charges.
    Let me know your thoughts.

  2. Deb Addleman says:


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: