Legal Question in Criminal Law in Tennessee

Is there still an applicable statute of limitations for a misdemeanor that was caught on video surveillance but reviewed after the statute of limitation to prosecute has passed?

Asked on 12/03/12, 8:03 pm

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The statute of limitations starts to run when the crime is committed, and stops when prosecution commences (when a warrant is sworn, a citation is issued, an indictment is returned).

So the general answer is no. Wait too long to commence prosecution -- twelve months in the case of almost all misdemeanors -- and prosecution is barred.

BUT, there are exceptions that stop the running of the clock, a process known as "tolling" the statute of limitations. These can include leaving the state, or willfully concealing the commission of the crime (such as hiding the video tape).

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Answered on 12/04/12, 6:43 am

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