Can You Be Prosecuted for an Old Crime in Texas?

Like all other states, Texas has a criminal statute of limitations that dictates the time periods for when a criminal prosecution must occur for a variety of felony and misdemeanor charges. If the state does not bring a legal action during this time period, it forfeits the right to prosecute an individual for that crime.

The most egregious criminal offenses have no statute of limitations and in some cases, a statute of limitations may be tolled — meaning the state has additional time to bring charges. Tolling applies for the time period the suspect is absent from the state or for the time during which a legal action is filed in a court of jurisdiction and ending on the day the action is deemed invalid by the court.

Here are the criminal statutes of limitation in Texas:


No Time Limit: Murder and manslaughter, sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault, offenses against younger children, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and human trafficking.

20 Years From 18th Birthday of Victim: Sexual performance by a child if the victim is under the age of 17.

10 Years: Offenses related to theft by a fiduciary, Theft by a public servant of government property, forgery, injury to the elderly or disabled, sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault, arson and compelling prostitution.

7 Years: Misapplication of fiduciary property, security execution of a document by deception, money laundering, credit card or debit card abuse, fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, bigamy and Medicaid fraud.

5 Years: Theft or robbery, kidnapping, burglary, , injury to the elderly or disabled, child abandonment or endangerment, and insurance fraud.

3 Years: Other felonies not included in the above.


2 Years: Prostitution, pimping and pandering, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, theft of property worth less than $50 and other misdemeanors.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or