When a crime is committed, many times there is a statute of limitations that applies. This means that the prosecution has a specific amount of time to charge someone with the crime. If the prosecution is unable to do so, then there will never be anyone convicted of the crime -- unless someone were to waive the statute of limitations. That doesn't happen very often, but it might occur in cases involving a plea bargain.
There are different statutes of limitations for different crimes. There are also some crimes for which there is no statutes of limitations. These include:
Crimes that have a statute of limitations of 10 years in Colorado are:
-- Sexual assault
-- Pandering or procurement of a child
-- Soliciting for child prostitution
-- Trafficking in or sexual exploitation of children
Other crimes have statutes of limitations that vary from 18 months up to seven years. However, if the person charged with the crime is absent from the state, an extension of up to five years is possible.
If you have been charged with a crime and you believe the statute of limitations has expired, your criminal defense attorney will know what to do. Some prosecutors will try to work around these restrictions when it comes to charging someone. However, they cannot rewrite the law. By building a strong defense case and utilizing well-thought-out strategies, an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney can help those who are facing charges for crimes and are still within the state's statutes of limitations.
Source: FindLaw, "Time Limits for Charges: State Criminal Statutes of Limitations," accessed Sep. 17, 2015