In Virginia, depending on what type of criminal charge you face, there may be a statute of limitations. If Virginia fails to bring a case against you within the specified time period, the Commonwealth loses its right to prosecute for that crime forever.
Generally, violent crimes have longer statute of limitations and in a few cases, some crimes have no statute of limitations. Even though there are statutes of limitations, at times a statute of limitations may be suspended. This allows the Commonwealth more time to build a case against the suspect. An experienced Alexandria criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you understand the statute of limitations if you are charged with a crime and help defend you against the charges.
Overall, misdemeanors usually have a statute of limitations of one year. In the case of murder, there is no statute of limitations. Below are some additional statutes of limitations:
- Petit larceny: within five years
- Attempt to produce abortion: within two years
- Practicing law without a license: within two years of discovery of offense
- Building code violations: within one year of discovery of offense
- Dumping, discharging or emitting any toxic substances: within three years
A full list can be found here. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+19.2-8