top of page
  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

Legal Insights: How Long Can a Felony Charge Be Pending in Texas?

A felony offense can set off a complex legal process that may last for some time. These serious accusations, ranging from aggravated sexual assault to money laundering, carry significant weight under Texas law.


The statute of limitations is crucial in this process, establishing the time limit for bringing forth criminal charges. Understanding how long a felony case can be pending helps individuals grasp the workings of criminal procedure and anticipate the journey ahead.


This article will explore the timeline of felony cases in Texas, from the initial allegation to the resolution, and highlight the role of a criminal defense attorney in guiding one person through this challenging time.


Understanding Felony Charges in Texas

Understanding Felony Charges in Texas


Felony cases refer to serious crimes that Texas law treats more harshly than lesser offenses, known as misdemeanors. Examples of felony crimes include aggravated sexual assault, where harm is caused with wrongful intent and forceful kidnapping.


This involves taking someone against their will with the potential for further harm. These acts are considered serious because they pose a greater threat to individuals and society.


In contrast, misdemeanors are less severe and include acts such as minor theft or small-scale fraud. The statute of limitations, as per legal protocol, governs the duration for which a felony case can remain pending.


Moreover, the statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing charges, ensuring each criminal case is addressed within a reasonable period after the crime occurs.


In some cases, such as sexual abuse or when a public servant is accused of taking government property, this time limit can vary, accommodating the particular nature of the crime.


A Closer Look at the Statute of Limitations in Criminal Charges


In Texas, the statute of limitations is crucial in setting deadlines for criminal cases. It's like an official timer that tells how long the state has to start a case against someone. Once a crime occurs, this timer begins to count down. The length of this countdown can vary significantly for various felonies.


Various Deadlines for Different Crimes

Felony cases such as insurance fraud or financial crimes involving fiduciary property have a set period to file formal charges, often reaching up to 5 or 10 years. Such cases may involve complex evidence and financial institution records that take time to uncover.


On the other hand, sexual assault offenses that involve an elderly or disabled person don't have the same time limit. This also applies to children, and it means that the law can take action on these cases at any point in the future, even many years after the crime occurs.


Navigating Time Limits with Legal Help

A criminal defense attorney understands these deadlines and can explain how the limitation period affects a particular felony violation. The criminal lawyer in Fort Worth can help those involved, from the alleged victim to the person facing charges, understand their rights and the relevant Texas code provisions.


Whether it involves compelling prostitution, aggravated kidnapping, or another serious felony, knowing the time limit is vital to navigating the criminal procedure. Moreover, the understanding of when to file charges is crucial in cases of a sexual offense or any other crime punishable by law.


Each criminal case is unique, and specific circumstances, such as an ongoing investigation into the same act or conduct, can even pause the statute's countdown.


This is especially relevant when dealing with repeated instances of the same conduct, where the statute of limitations plays a pivotal role in how long authorities have to file charges.


Factors Impacting the Pending Duration of Felony Cases


The duration for which a felony case can remain pending is typically determined by a legal rule known as the statute of limitations. However, certain circumstances can make this period longer.


If the crime involves harm to an older person or someone with a disability, or if there's strong evidence such as DNA, the time limit to file charges could be extended. This gives the legal system more time to work with complex cases, such as those involving sexual assault offenses or compelling prostitution.


Sometimes, the law can pause the countdown on the statute of limitations, which is known as tolling. Suppose the person who was hurt is not yet an adult. Then, the clock might not start until they turn 18 years of age.


Also, if the person accused of the crime leaves the state, the clock stops until they return. This means for crimes such as aggravated kidnapping or intoxication assault, the period to bring a criminal case can stretch out.


It's essential for those involved to know these rules, whether they've suffered from the crime or are accused of it. Each limitation period is based on the nature of the felony offenses and the details of the crime.


From Allegation to Resolution: Timeframe of Felony Cases


When someone gets accused of a felony in Texas, the process from start to finish can be lengthy. It begins when authorities file formal charges and can continue until there's a court decision.


Texas law sets a specific time limit to initiate the process for many felonies. The clock starts ticking from the moment the crime occurs or, in some cases, when it's discovered.


Moreover, the duration of a criminal case varies. A false statement charge may resolve quicker than more complex sexual assaults, where evidence such as DNA needs careful examination.


On average, a felony case can be pending for months or even years, depending on the crime's nature and the evidence involved. This period can be challenging for everyone, from those facing charges to the individuals harmed.


How Can Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Help with Felony Cases?

How Can Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Help with Felony Cases?


Dealing with a felony case in Texas is a complex task that often calls for the expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Understanding the intricacies of the criminal statute of limitations and navigating through the legal system can significantly influence the outcome of a case.


An attorney's knowledge can be particularly crucial when it comes to sex offenses or any criminal conduct that is severely punishable under the law.


Additionally, for those facing such serious accusations, having strong legal support is beneficial and necessary. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys stands ready to provide that support. They can also assist with questions like How long does Texas have to indict you on a felony charge?


Our commitment is clear, and we stand by our motto, "We go to war for you," ensuring dedicated and robust defense for victims' cases.


Concluding Thoughts


The clock for pursuing felony offenses ticks according to specific legal time frames. These crucial deadlines, which vary for different crimes, underscore the importance of timely action in the legal system. Recognizing the procedures and potential consequences of these charges is vital.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys' expertise is invaluable for navigating these legal paths. With our dedicated team, victims or those facing criminal charges can feel supported and guided through every step of the legal process.

Comments


bottom of page