What Is the California Statute of Limitations for a Felony?

The statute of limitations for a felony in California varies by sentencing guidelines. LegalTips.org states that if a defendant is facing eight or more years of prison time, there is a six-year statute of limitations. If the felony carries a sentence of up to three years, the state has three years to prosecute. Embezzling public funds and crimes punishable by life in prison without parole have no statute of limitations.

CriminalDefenseLawyer.com explains that the statute of limitations for felonies in California is divided into many different categories by specific crime. There are several exceptions to the statutes that allow the state to exceed the stated time limit for prosecution. One example is any felony sex charge where the victim is under 18 years of age. In this case, the statute of limitations is extended 10 years from the age the victim was at the time the crime was committed.

California's felony statute of limitations laws are not always clear or concise. There are many situations where the state is able to extend the statutes in its favor to be able to bring forth felony charges when the statutes have otherwise expired. Anyone facing a felony in California should consult an attorney for advice specific to his case, according to CriminalDefenseLawyer.com.