Illinois Statute of Limitations

Illinois Statute of Limitations

Joseph Conboy | June 14, 2023 | Personal Injury
Illinois statute of limitations

The statutes of limitations are confusing, aren’t they? So confusing that you don’t even know where to start. This blog post is meant to help explain the Illinois Statutes of Limitations. It will help you determine when the clock starts ticking on a claim and whether a statute has been violated in your case.

Additionally, to understand how the statutes of limitations apply in your specific case, our skilled attorney would love to assess you. We can explain how the statute of limitations applies. Contact us at (312) 726-9000 for a free consultation.

Illinois Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws

Every state has statutes of limitations on criminal complaints. If a certain time has passed since the alleged crime, the accused may apply to have the case dismissed as untimely. By requiring criminal lawsuits early, the statute of limitations protects eyewitnesses and evidence.

Statutes of Limitations: Specific Crimes

Understanding Illinois law, specifically crime time restrictions can be difficult. Illinois crime statutes of limitations are below.

We provide examples of time limits for certain offenses to clarify this vital feature of the criminal justice system. Let’s examine Illinois’ time limits for specific crimes without further ado.

Murder, Homicide, and Manslaughter

Murder homicide and manslaughter
  • First- and second-degree murder has no time limit, meaning that prosecution can be pursued anytime.
  • Involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, and hit-and-run involving death or personal injuries also have no time limit. This means that the state of Illinois can prosecute individuals for these crimes. Regardless of how much time has passed since the offense was committed.

Sexual Assault and Trafficking Crimes

In Illinois, the statutes of limitations for sexual assault and trafficking crimes are determined by the specific offense.

  • Sexual behavior or penetration offenses (under section 11-0.1) have no time restriction.
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, predatory criminal sexual assault, and criminal sexual abuse: no time limit.
  • Failure to disclose child sexual assault or abuse under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act: 20 years after the victim turns 18.
  • Misdemeanor child sexual abuse: 10 years after victim turns 18.
  • Trafficking, involuntary slavery, and underage sexual servitude: 25 years after the victim turns 18.
  • Trafficking and involuntary servitude of victims 18 and older: 25 years after the crime

Child Pornography and Prostitution Crimes

Child pornography and prostitution crimes
  • Production of child pornography

The production of child pornography in Illinois under § 11-20.1 (a) (1) has no time limit. Child sexual predators can be prosecuted regardless of when they committed the offense.

  • Offenses linked to child pornography and aggravated child pornography

One year after the victim becomes 18, but no sooner than three years after the offense.

  • Indecent solicitation or exploitation of a child

One year after the victim becomes 18, but no sooner than three years after the incident.

  • Soliciting a minor prostitute or pimping

One year after the victim becomes 18, but no sooner than three years after the offense.

Breach of Fiduciary Duties

  • Breach of fiduciary obligations when the victim is juvenile or legally disabled

Within one year after termination.

  • Other fiduciary breaches

One year after discovery or one year after prosecuting officer becomes aware of the offense, up to three years.

  • Misconduct in public office

One year after discovery or after prosecuting officer becomes aware of the offense, up to additional three years.

Forgery and Theft-related Offenses

Forgery and theft related offenses
  • For forgery, there is no time limit for prosecution. This means a person can be charged with forgery at any time after the offense.
  • Theft above $100,000: 7 years after the last crime-related act.
  • Identity theft and aggravated identity theft: 7 years after the last act in furtherance of crime. (Extended limits law enables commencement five years after the victim discovers violation).
  • Financial exploitation of an old or disabled person: 7 years after the last crime-related act.

It’s important to note that the above statutes of limitations may be subject to change. So it’s always advisable to consult an experienced lawyer for up-to-date information.

Statutes of Limitations: Felonies and Misdemeanors

In Illinois, the statutes of limitations for criminal charges are established to set time limits for prosecuting specific crimes. The general time limits for filing charges in Illinois are:

  • Three years for felonies; and
  • One year and six months for misdemeanors.

But murder, sexual assault, and other serious crimes have longer statutes of limitations or no time limit for prosecution. New evidence or an absentee defendant can also extend the statute of limitations.

Understanding statutes of limitations helps the prosecution and defense handle criminal matters quickly.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Illinois

Exceptions to the statute of limitations

Illinois has several exceptions to the Statute of Limitations.

The Discovery Rule

This rule allows plaintiffs to file a lawsuit after the standard statute of limitations has:

  • Expired when they might not have known; or
  • They had reason to suspect that a healthcare provider’s medical malpractice harmed them.

The discovery rule can also toll the statute of limitations. But only certain circumstances permit the filing of claims discovered after the applicable statute of limitations has run.

Legal Disability

Another exception that sometimes applies to the statute of limitations requirements is what’s known as the legal disability. Legal disability means that a plaintiff cannot bring a lawsuit due to a physical or mental disability or because they are a minor.

Tolling of Limitation Periods

The statute of limitations usually begins with the offense. When the crime is hard to find, or a person is evading arrest, the law may suspend (or toll) the limitations period.

The Illinois statute of limitations has no time limit if:

  • The defendant is not a state resident.
  • A public officer is charged with stealing public monies while in office.
  • A crucial witness is on active military duty or leave, and the defendant is being prosecuted for the same behavior.
  • The Department of State Police is examining sexual assault evidence.
  • The victim of unlawful force or fear of serious bodily injury to extract information or a confession is jailed.

Contact Our Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer at Conboy Law for a Case Evaluation

Contact our personal injury lawyer

Conboy Law understands personal injury claims, the statute of limitations, and other legal issues. Our experienced attorneys will investigate, gather evidence, and present a solid claim on your behalf.

Don’t wait! Personal injury cases are time-sensitive, and the statute of limitations may limit your claims. Call (312) 726-9000 for a free consultation.

We can defend your rights and get you the money you need to heal and move on. You only pay once we win.

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