What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Misdemeanors and Felonies in North Carolina?

Law & Order often talks about the statute of limitations on crimes such as murder and sexual assault. Many people believe these crimes must be reported and/or prosecuted within seven to ten years otherwise the perpetrator gets away with it.

In NC, there is no statute of limitations on felonies. Technically, a person could be arrested thirty years later for a crime such as felony larceny. Most prosecutors only look into old cases such as murder and sexual assault, but in theory an old crime could haunt a person much later in life.

There is a statute of limitations on most misdemeanors. Prosecutors must charge a misdemeanor within two years of the crime, unless the misdemeanor contains an element of malice. Malice means the accused was malicious in carrying out the crime. This can be a very confusing standard and can sometimes be difficult for the State to prove malice. In some cases, previous convictions can lead to an automatic assumption of malice.

If you think you may be charged with a crime in the near future, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to prepare. The lawyer will advise you on how to prepare for a possible arrest, what to say (if anything) to police, and what to do if taken to jail.

Criminal defense attorney Paige Feldmann handles speeding tickets, misdemeanors and felonies in Raleigh, and DWIs and traffic tickets in Orange County. Contact her at (919) 747-3244 or at hello@paigefeldmannlaw.com.

Scroll to Top