Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Chapter 1. General Provisions
11/18/2017

§ 19.2-8. Limitation of prosecutions.

A prosecution for a misdemeanor, or any pecuniary fine, forfeiture, penalty or amercement, shall be commenced within one year next after there was cause therefor, except that a prosecution for petit larceny may be commenced within five years, and for an attempt to produce abortion, within two years after commission of the offense.

A prosecution for any misdemeanor violation of § 54.1-3904 shall be commenced within two years of the discovery of the offense.

A prosecution for violation of laws governing the placement of children for adoption without a license pursuant to § 63.2-1701 shall be commenced within one year from the date of the filing of the petition for adoption.

A prosecution for making a false statement or representation of a material fact knowing it to be false or knowingly failing to disclose a material fact, to obtain or increase any benefit or other payment under the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act (§ 60.2-100 et seq.) shall be commenced within three years next after the commission of the offense.

A prosecution for any violation of § 10.1-1320, 62.1-44.32 (b), 62.1-194.1, or Article 11 (§ 62.1-44.34:14 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 that involves the discharge, dumping or emission of any toxic substance as defined in § 32.1-239 shall be commenced within three years next after the commission of the offense.

Prosecution of Building Code violations under § 36-106 shall commence within one year of discovery of the offense by the building official, provided that such discovery occurs within two years of the date of initial occupancy or use after construction of the building or structure, or the issuance of a certificate of use and occupancy for the building or structure, whichever is later. However, prosecutions under § 36-106 relating to the maintenance of existing buildings or structures as contained in the Uniform Statewide Building Code shall commence within one year of the issuance of a notice of violation for the offense by the building official.

Prosecution of any misdemeanor violation of § 54.1-111 shall commence within one year of the discovery of the offense by the complainant, but in no case later than five years from occurrence of the offense.

Prosecution of any misdemeanor violation of any professional licensure requirement imposed by a locality shall commence within one year of the discovery of the offense by the complainant, but in no case later than five years from occurrence of the offense.

Prosecution of nonfelonious offenses which constitute malfeasance in office shall commence within two years next after the commission of the offense.

Prosecution of any violation of § 55-79.87, 55-79.88, 55-79.89, 55-79.90, 55-79.93, 55-79.94, 55-79.95, 55-79.103, or any rule adopted under or order issued pursuant to § 55-79.98, shall commence within three years next after the commission of the offense.

Prosecution of illegal sales or purchases of wild birds, wild animals and freshwater fish under § 29.1-553 shall commence within three years after commission of the offense.

Prosecution of violations under Title 58.1 for offenses involving false or fraudulent statements, documents or returns, or for the offense of willfully attempting in any manner to evade or defeat any tax or the payment thereof, or for the offense of willfully failing to pay any tax, or willfully failing to make any return at the time or times required by law or regulations shall commence within three years next after the commission of the offense, unless a longer period is otherwise prescribed.

Prosecution of violations of subsection A or B of § 3.2-6570 shall commence within five years of the commission of the offense, except violations regarding agricultural animals shall commence within one year of the commission of the offense.

A prosecution for a violation of § 18.2-386.1 shall be commenced within five years of the commission of the offense.

A prosecution for any violation of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, Chapter 9.3 (§ 24.2-945 et seq.) of Title 24.2, shall commence within one year of the discovery of the offense but in no case more than three years after the date of the commission of the offense.

A prosecution of a crime that is punishable as a misdemeanor pursuant to the Virginia Computer Crimes Act (§ 18.2-152.1 et seq.) or pursuant to § 18.2-186.3 for identity theft shall be commenced before the earlier of (i) five years after the commission of the last act in the course of conduct constituting a violation of the article or (ii) one year after the existence of the illegal act and the identity of the offender are discovered by the Commonwealth, by the owner, or by anyone else who is damaged by such violation.

A prosecution of a misdemeanor under § 18.2-51.7, 18.2-64.2, 18.2-67.4, 18.2-67.4:1, 18.2-67.4:2, 18.2-67.5, or 18.2-370.6 where the victim is a minor at the time of the offense shall be commenced no later than one year after the victim reaches majority.

A prosecution for a violation of § 18.2-260.1 shall be commenced within three years of the commission of the offense.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any person fleeing from justice or concealing himself within or without the Commonwealth to avoid arrest or be construed to limit the time within which any prosecution may be commenced for desertion of a spouse or child or for neglect or refusal or failure to provide for the support and maintenance of a spouse or child.

Code 1950, § 19.1-8; 1960, c. 366; 1974, c. 466; 1975, c. 495; 1976, cc. 114, 620; 1977, c. 108; 1978, c. 730; 1979, c. 243; 1980, c. 496; 1981, c. 31; 1984, c. 601; 1987, c. 488; 1990, cc. 575, 976; 1992, cc. 177, 435, 650; 1996, c. 484; 1998, c. 566; 1999, c. 620; 2005, cc. 746, 761, 827; 2006, cc. 193, 787, 892; 2008, c. 769; 2011, cc. 118, 143, 494, 553; 2014, c. 169; 2015, c. 176; 2016, cc. 233, 253; 2017, c. 667.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.