In Minnesota, the police can’t take all the time they want to file drug charges against you most of the time. Statute of limitations exists to protect the rights of individuals. Minnesota police must abide by the law and respect the rights of citizens. If they wait too long to file charges, time will run out to initiate legal proceedings against someone.
Drug charges are a complex topic in the state, so it’s a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side. They can help you understand the statute of limitations and how it applies to your case. Of course, knowledge is power, so finding out more about how the statute of limitations works in Minnesota is an excellent idea for everyone, not only those facing criminal drug charges.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Minnesota?
The statute of limitations is when the law allows prosecutors to file charges against you for a crime. Different crimes have different statutes of limitations.
In general, five different timeframes could apply to a criminal case in the state, varying by the underlying criminal charge. These are:
Three years is the most common statute of limitations for crimes. It applies to misdemeanor charges in the state as well as certain felonies.
Only a few criminal offenses in the state are subject to the five-year statute of limitations period, most of which are theft charges, but some arson charges apply as well.
Specific crimes fall under the six-year statute of limitations. They are cases involving medical assistance fraud and bank robbery.
Criminal offenses are often considered severe and fall under the nine-year statute of limitations timeframe. They include serious sex offenses.
No Statute of Limitations
The most serious offenses in the state, such as murder or human trafficking, have no statute of limitations. That means that at any time, Minnesota can bring charges against someone they have probable cause to believe perpetrated the crime.
In Minnesota, drug crimes fall under a catch-all section of the law. They have a three-year statute of limitations, which applies to misdemeanor drug charges and every other drug-related crime.
Why Have a Statute of Limitations?
You may wonder why Minnesota even bothers to have a statute of limitations, but the answer may surprise you. The reason for the statute is the protection of citizens from unfair prosecution.
It would be easy for any state to abuse an open-ended period to bring charges against a person for crimes, including drug crimes. The statute requires prosecutors to make a case against you in a reasonable amount of time and also ensures you are best able to defend yourself against the charges. If too much time passes, it would seriously hinder the ability of any person to produce witnesses and evidence to exonerate them of the crime.
Are you facing drug charges in Minnesota? You need a knowledgeable attorney to help guide you through the process, particularly if you are nearing the statute of limitations on your case.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and has been named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.