Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 556
Preliminary Provisions (Criminal Code)
Section 556.036

August 28, 2013


Time limitations.

556.036. 1. A prosecution for murder, rape in the first degree, forcible rape, attempted rape in the first degree, attempted forcible rape, sodomy in the first degree, forcible sodomy, attempted sodomy in the first degree, attempted forcible sodomy, or any class A felony may be commenced at any time.

2. Except as otherwise provided in this section, prosecutions for other offenses must be commenced within the following periods of limitation:

(1) For any felony, three years, except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection;

(2) For any misdemeanor, one year;

(3) For any infraction, six months;

(4) For any violation of section 569.040, when classified as a class B felony, or any violation of section 569.050 or 569.055, five years.

3. If the period prescribed in subsection 2 of this section has expired, a prosecution may nevertheless be commenced for:

(1) Any offense a material element of which is either fraud or a breach of fiduciary obligation within one year after discovery of the offense by an aggrieved party or by a person who has a legal duty to represent an aggrieved party and who is himself or herself not a party to the offense, but in no case shall this provision extend the period of limitation by more than three years. As used in this subdivision, the term "person who has a legal duty to represent an aggrieved party" shall mean the attorney general or the prosecuting or circuit attorney having jurisdiction pursuant to section 407.553, for purposes of offenses committed pursuant to sections 407.511 to 407.556; and

(2) Any offense based upon misconduct in office by a public officer or employee at any time when the defendant is in public office or employment or within two years thereafter, but in no case shall this provision extend the period of limitation by more than three years; and

(3) Any offense based upon an intentional and willful fraudulent claim of child support arrearage to a public servant in the performance of his or her duties within one year after discovery of the offense, but in no case shall this provision extend the period of limitation by more than three years.

4. An offense is committed either when every element occurs, or, if a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing course of conduct plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct or the defendant's complicity therein is terminated. Time starts to run on the day after the offense is committed.

5. A prosecution is commenced for a misdemeanor or infraction when the information is filed and for a felony when the complaint or indictment is filed.

6. The period of limitation does not run:

(1) During any time when the accused is absent from the state, but in no case shall this provision extend the period of limitation otherwise applicable by more than three years; or

(2) During any time when the accused is concealing himself from justice either within or without this state; or

(3) During any time when a prosecution against the accused for the offense is pending in this state; or

(4) During any time when the accused is found to lack mental fitness to proceed pursuant to section 552.020.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1986 S.B. 685, A.L. 1997 S.B. 56, A.L. 1999 H.B. 487, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1037, et al. merged with S.B. 650, A.L. 2005 H.B. 353, A.L. 2006 H.B. 1857, A.L. 2009 H.B. 62, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)

(2012) Tolling of statute of limitations upon filing of a felony complaint does not conflict with Article I, Section 17 provision prohibiting felony prosecutions otherwise than by indictment or information. State v. Mixon, 391 S.W.3d 881 (Mo.banc).


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