What is a Statute of Limitation?

Statute of LimitationAmerica’s legal system is undoubtedly complicated and confusing, but certain measures are put in place for the protection of both the defendant and the general population. Statute of limitations, for example, forbids prosecutors from charging someone with a crime that was committed more than a specific number of years ago.

The laws for statute of limitations were established to guarantee that convictions occurred while evidence was still viable. Eyewitnesses tend to forget details over time, and physical evidence can deteriorate. When the period for the statute of limitations expires, the person accused of a crime can no longer be charged for it.

Like most laws, even Tampa social security disability law firms state that statutes for minor crimes vary by state, while statutes for major crimes like murder, kidnapping, and arson do not exist. Most states require any alleged criminal to be gainfully employed and visible to the public eye in order for the time limit on a statute to count down. On the other hand, if the alleged criminal was on the run, living out of the state in which the crime was committed, or in hiding, that time does not count toward the statute.

Criminal Claims Involving Minors

Crimes involving minors are taken very seriously, which is why most states do not begin the statute of limitations countdown until the minor victim of a crime turns 18. If an 11-year-old was hit on his bike by a drunk driver, that driver’s statute of limitations does not begin for 7 years, until the child turns 18. This is done to ensure full justice for any minor who experienced such trauma.

Discovery of Harm

In a world as complex as the world of law, rules always need exceptions and variations. Discovery of harm is a concept that arose from medical malpractice claims in which a surgeon’s mistake may not have been discovered for months or years after the date of the surgery.

Today, if a delay in legal action can be proven under reasonable circumstances, like surgical injuries that did not arise for three years due to a medical mistake, then the statute of limitations does not begin until the date of discovery of harm.

If the law of statute of limitations matters in your case, your workers compensation Tampa Florida attorney will inform you of your state’s exact rules and procedures so that you can ensure your case occurs in a timely fashion.