No matter how you come to arrive at a legal circumstance, there always are many factors and details to account for. Time is one of those components. And it can fly by. It’s important to know how much time you have to act on and/or pursue legal proceedings. In other words, it pays to know your statutes of limitations.
Britannica defines statute of limitations as “a legislative act restricting the time within which legal proceedings may be brought, usually to a fixed period after the occurrence of the events that gave rise to the cause of action. Such statutes are enacted to protect persons against claims made after disputes have become stale, evidence has been lost, memories have faded or witnesses have disappeared.”
Another fun fact noted by Britannica: The idea for statutes of limitations is nothing new. It’s reported to have been around since Roman times!
Statutes of limitations exist for both civil and criminal cases, and each state varies in length for certain offenses.
Some examples of civil statutes of limitations in Florida are:
- Fraud – within 4 years
- Injury to Person – within 4 years
- Injury to Personal Property – within 4 years
- Trespass – within 4 years
- Libel/Slander – within 2 years
- Professional Malpractice – within 2 years; Medical: within 2 to 4 years
- Judgments – within 20 years
While the above are instances where statutes of limitations apply, some crimes do not qualify. For example, in Florida, there is no time limit for capital felonies and felonies punishable by life in prison.
Whatever your case might be, don’t let the clock run out on getting justice. It might not be too late.