Contact Us Today: 301-818-0389

Statute of Limitation on Criminal Charges in Maryland

criminal charges

The statute of limitations ensures that prosecutions are timely and fair. Statute of limitations vary depending on the nature of the offense, and understanding the statute of limitations is crucial for legal professionals and individuals navigating the criminal justice system.

This guide will discuss Maryland’s statute of limitations for various criminal offenses. From serious felonies to lesser misdemeanors, we’ll explore the timeframes for initiating legal proceedings.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is the maximum time legal proceedings can be initiated after the crime. After this time, the state can no longer prosecute the offender. The statute of limitations is set to prevent the prosecution of outdated cases and ensure that the defendant has the opportunity to defend themselves.

Statute of Limitations for Crimes in Maryland

Understanding the statute of limitations for criminal charges in Maryland is crucial. Here are some crimes you can be charged for in Maryland and their corresponding statute of limitations.


In Maryland, the statute of limitations for most felonies is not set. This means a person can be prosecuted for a felony offense at any time after it occurs.

Serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault fall under this category. The fact that there is no statute of limitations set emphasizes the seriousness of these offenses and the state’s commitment to pursuing justice regardless of how much time has passed.


Misdemeanor offenses in Maryland typically have a one-year statute of limitations. This includes crimes such as simple assault, disorderly conduct, and DUI. Theft has a two-year statute of limitations. 

Sexual Offenses

Some sexual offenses in Maryland have extended or no statute of limitations. For example, if a case involves the sexual abuse of a minor, they typically will have a longer statute of limitations or none at all. This reflects the state’s determination to hold perpetrators accountable for these crimes.

Property Crimes

In Maryland, there is no statute of limitations for serious property crimes like robbery, burglary, and arson. 

Reasoning Behind Different Statutes of Limitations

The statute of limitations varies for different offenses in Maryland due to the crime’s severity and nature. Serious offenses posing a significant threat to public safety, such as murder and sexual assault, are not subject to limitations.

On the other hand, less severe offenses like misdemeanors or property crimes have short statutes of limitations. This acknowledges that the availability of evidence and witnesses decreases over time, making it more difficult for the accused to get a fair trial. 

Turn to Jeremy Widder Law for Reliable, Experienced Legal Representation

The statute of limitations is critical for the criminal justice system as it balances justice with the needs of fairness and finality. Understanding the statute of limitations is essential for legal professionals, law enforcement, and individuals involved in the criminal justice system to ensure prosecutions are enacted promptly.

At Jeremy Widder Law, we recognize the significance of timing in pursuing justice. We are committed to ensuring our clients receive comprehensive and strategic representation. Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or a major criminal offense, you can rest assured knowing that you receive reliable, experienced legal representation to protect your rights.

Contact us today for a consultation.


More Posts

murder scene

How to Fight a Murder Charge

A murder charge is among the most serious and complex legal matters, and if convicted, they can carry severe consequences. A criminal defense attorney’s job

man being taken by the police for felony theft in maryland

Understanding Felony Theft in Maryland

The laws regarding theft, particularly felony theft, are designed to protect individuals and businesses from financial loss and ensure justice for victims. However, a line

Send Us A Message