What is the Arizona Criminal Statute of Limitations?

statute of limitations arizona

What is the Arizona Criminal Statute of Limitations?




A statute of limitations is a law that sets parameters around when you’re able to file a lawsuit, or seek legal actions after a criminal offense has been committed.

The statute of limitations in Arizona varies, depending on the claim being made, jurisdiction, and the classification of the crime.


Felonies with No Statute of Limitations


In Arizona, the criminal statute of limitations doesn’t exist for certain felonies.

In these cases, it doesn’t matter if it has been one year or twenty since the crime was committed.

These felonies include:  

      1. Homicide
      2. Conspiracy to commit homicide, if it results in death
      3. Violent sexual assault
      4. Committing, organizing, or inviting an act of terrorism 
      5. Misuse of public funds
      6. Falsifying public documents
      7. Using an infectious biological substance or radiological agent unlawfully 


Other Criminal Statute of Limitations in Arizona


  • Misdemeanor—the prosecution has one year to start due process before the statute of limitations is up. 


  • Petty offense—the time is cut in half to six months.


  • Other felonies (not including the ones listed above)—the criminal statute of limitations in Arizona is seven years. This is for class 2 felonies. You can read more about felony classifications and find examples here


Civil Statute of Limitation Rules for Arizona 


  • For civil lawsuits, the statute of limitations in Arizona is two years for filing a personal injury claim and one year for filing a libel or slander claim. 


  • In the case of medical malpractice, a lawsuit will have to be filed in the time span of two years following the injury. 


  • Written contracts, if they were carried out in the state of Arizona, have a statute of limitations that lasts six years. If the contract was oral, the time limit on suing for breach of contract is three years. 


For a full list on the statute of limitations in Arizona, criminal or civil, you can this document from the National Legal Research Group, Inc. 


Don’t Rely on Your Own Understanding


When it comes to law, the rules are subject to change all the time. What’s true this year could change in the next. Put your trust in someone whose job it is to stay on top of Arizona laws.

If you live in Maricopa county and are looking for legal help, rest assured that you’ve found the best with Todd Coolidge. From DUIs, to drug offenses, or felonies, Mr. Coolidge has the expertise to help you out. 

Call his legal offices today and secure excellent representation in court. 





photo by Nick Youngson, taken from Alpha Stock Images on 1/1/2020, no changes made, license is for creative commons