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Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
John D. Kirby in San Diego, CA

The statute of limitations is the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file charges against a defendant. While some crimes, like murder, have no statute of limitations and while other crimes have statutes of limitation that are simply defined, fraud is one category of crime in which specifying a statute of limitations can become a complex matter. A statute of limitations for a crime exists so that a person charged with a crime that occurred a long time ago will not have to scramble looking for evidence when there may no longer be any, simply due to the passage of time. If you’ve been accused of or charged with a fraud crime that took place some time ago, you may have questions about the statute of limitations for the crime. An experienced fraud charges defense lawyer is the best person to answer those questions for you.

Banks and Financial Institutions

For most bank fraud crimes, like theft, embezzlement, RICO crimes, forging, counterfeiting or similar, the statute of limitations is ten years. However, some RICO or conspiracy crimes may have a longer statute of limitations because they involve more than one type of crime or a pattern of crime that occurs over many years. Fraud against various insurance companies or other financial institutions also carries a statute of limitations of ten years. When a bank fraud crime is combined with other crimes, this statute of limitations may be longer, depending upon the type of crime.

The Discovery Rule

In general, the state of California has a statute of limitations of three years for the crime of fraud. However, this is a very general rule that has many exceptions. When considering a statute of limitations, it is important to understand the discovery rule. The discovery rule states that a statute of limitations does not begin when the actual crime occurred, but instead begins when the victim of the crime becomes aware that it actually happened. This rule is very important because victims of fraud do not always realize that they are victims until the fraud has been going on for quite some time. If there were no discovery rule, many victims could never file charges for this type of crime.

Call to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Fraud Charges Defense Lawyer Today

If you have questions and want to learn more about the statute of limitations for fraud crimes, call to schedule a free consultation with a fraud charges defense lawyer today. The experienced legal professionals at the Law Offices of John D. Kirby will use their knowledge and experience to navigate the complexities of fraud crimes and their statutes of limitations.  Schedule a consultation by calling us at (619) 557-0100. You can rely on us for legal guidance you can trust.