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New Hampshire Criminal Statute of Limitations

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2014 | Criminal Defense

NH Rev Stat Ann §625:8 provides a summary of the statute of limitations for criminal cases in the state of New Hampshire. Statutes of limitations prescribe periods of limitations for the bringing of certain kinds of legal action. With NH Rev Stat Ann §625:8, the statute of limitations applies to criminal cases. As a result of these set limitations, if the state of New Hampshire attempts to bring an action against an individual after the applicable time period has passed, that individual can have the case dismissed.

Criminal statutes of limitations apply to different crimes based on their classification as ether “felony” or “misdemeanor.” Some crimes, like murder, have no statute of limitations, and generally speaking, the more violent the crime, the longer the statute of limitations. Usually, the time limit starts running on the date the offense was committed and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the statute of limitations may be suspended (or “tolled”), which gives the state extra time to bring forth a legal action.

A summary of what can be found in a full reading of NH Rev Stat Ann §625:8 is as follows:

  • Murder: no statute of limitations
  • Class A felony: 6 years
  • Class B felony: 6 years
  • Misdemeanor: 1 year
  • Violation: 3 months
  • Unemployment compensation offense: 6 years
  • Theft involving misappropriation of property or any offense involving fraud or breach of fiduciary duty: 1 year after discovery
  • Misconduct in office by a public servant: any time while person is still in office or within 2 years after leaving office
  • Hunting violations: 3 years
  • Sexual assault or incest with victim under 18 years: within 22 years after victim turns 18
  • Destruction of evidence, witness tampering, or other conduct that delayed discovery of offense: 1 year after discovery of offense
  • Arson: one year after discovery
  • Perjury or tampering with evidence in murder case: no statute of limitations

Statutes of limitations are intended to encourage the resolution of legal claims within a reasonable amount of time. If you believe that the criminal case that has been brought against you is untimely in the eyes of the law, it is important that you immediately retain an attorney and alert them of your belief. Immediately retaining an attorney will enable you to protect your rights. Experience and knowledge can go a long way in fighting a criminal case in New Hampshire. If you were recently arrested for a crime and you believe it violates the applicable statute of limitations, contact a New Hampshire criminal attorney at Wilson, Bush & Keefe, P.C.  for immediate and effective legal representation.