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What Is The Florida Statute Of Limitations?

Florida statute of limitation

If you have been dealing with court matters for a long then chances are you know some crucial things.  For instance, the timing within which a lawsuit is filed is very essential.  The place in or at which this lawsuit also plays another key factor.  On top of this, there are also other issues that include the statute limitations like the Florida statute of limitations and many others as well.  

Key interest though is the Florida statute of limitations which is an issue that deserves some sort of discussion.  Knowing what the Florida statute of limitations is and other factors about the same is so essential.  There are more factors and details to this issue than what many people know or think know already.  

The definition of the Florida statute of limitations is very key in such a discussion with many others coming in afterward.  For this discussion, much of the emphasis goes to the Florida statute of limitations and the other factors that you might find interest in.  

What About The Florida Statute Of Limitations?

Various states come with their own statute of limitations which state or stipulate differently.  The Florida statute of limitations is one of these statutes. These statutes come with a timeline where you should file the civil lawsuits in.

What this means is if you have a civil lawsuit that you wish to file but exceed the provided time then your lawsuit will remain banned.  It does not matter how strong and appealing your case or even the circumstances involved.  Once you exceed this timeline then your case or lawsuit remains banned no matter the circumstances involved. 

For the criminal charges, the statute limitations banns the involved prosecutors from charging criminals beyond the time allowed for a lawsuit.  However, you need to also understand that each state comes with its own statute of limitations.  This means that what might be the accepted statute of limitations in one state might not be the same in another state.  

Therefore, before dealing with any matter in this regard it is important to first of all check what the statute limitations in that particular area say about the same.   Keep in mind that you look at the statute of limitations in the same way.

The Civil Statute Limitations

It is important for you to understand that every state comes with its own statute limitations.  Some of these limitations vary from one place to the other and in some form and difference as well.  However, much as this is the case, there are some similarities between these laws which are all worth considering and mentioning as well.

Every state comes with its limits when it comes to filing lawsuits and other civil actions They are the statute of limitations.  The good thing though is that the Florida statute of limitations is similar to those of many other states.  This means if you know and understand these statutes well then you can easily operate in other states in America as well.  

Depending on the nature of the case and the applicable procedures, the Florida statute of limitations does not allow for a lot of time in processing some of these cases.  The time allowed is two years to four years maximum.  Anything going beyond this period gets banned.As a result, its hearing abolished with immediate effect and considered null and avoid.

When this happens, it means the case can no longer go on and is unsustainable by the state over these very reasons.  Trying to go on with a case beyond the time allowed for any case by the Florida statutes of limitations regards as a total disregard to the law. 

What Are the Crimes Under the Florida Statute of Limitations?

In Florida, the statute of limitations applies to various criminal charges, with differing time restrictions based on the seriousness of the act. The Florida statute of limitations covers a variety of offenses, including:

Capital Crimes

There is no statute of limitations for capital crimes. Hence it is one of those crimes that are punishable by death. Examples include first-degree murder, treason, and specific drug trafficking charges.

Life Crimes

Examples include certain sorts of sexual battery, abduction, and burglary with assault or battery. These crimes punish through life imprisonment for a minimum of 4 years.

First-Degree Felonies

First-degree felonies, punishable by up to 30 years in jail, carry a four-year statute of limitations. Examples include aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and some drug trafficking felonies.

Second-Degree Felonies

Second-degree felonies, which carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, often have a three-year statute of limitations. Robbery, burglary of a vacant residence, and some drug possession convictions are other examples.

Third-Degree Felonies

Third-degree felonies, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, often have a three-year statute of limitations. Grand theft, possession of a prohibited drug, and impaired driving (DUI) with injury are among examples. 


Most misdemeanors, which are less serious offenses punishable by up to one year in county jail, have a two-year statute of limitations. Simple assault, small theft, and disorderly conduct are among the examples.

It is crucial to remember that some crimes, such as sexual acts involving minors or those punished by death or life in prison, may have exceptions or lengthier statutes of limitations. In addition, the statute of limitations suspends in certain situations, such as when the defendant is out of state, or the offense includes deception or concealment.

You should consult with a knowledgeable attorney versed in Florida criminal law to determine the exact statute of limitations relevant to a particular offense and any potential exceptions.

Why The Florida Statute Limitations?

You might find interest in knowing why the Florida statute limitations were put in place and the kind of role they serve.  Well on this, there are quite a number of factors which go into consideration on this issue.  Even though the Florida statute limitations might vary from one area to the other, they seek to serve the same basic purpose.  

This purpose is to make sure that all the cases are heard expeditiously and justice delivered within the right time. To make all this possible, the Florida statute limitations put a gag on the people handling the case to do so fast and within the shortest period of time.  

This is exactly a period of up to four years allowed for any single case to be heard.  Beyond that, the hearing of the case will stand banned and the case will not progress.  The Florida statute limitations intends at freeing up and decongesting the judicial department.  

The Maximum Period Allowed For A Case Varies

Even though the Florida statutes of limitations allow for only a specific period of time, that is not always the case.  This timing is very relative depending on the case. This is primarily determined by the people involved in this case.  For instance, fraud is legible up to 4 years.

As a person who has a case to file, it is very important for you to try and act within the specified time.  If you do not do this then chances are you might have your case thrown out. If your claim is filled out of the allowed period then it might not stand due to these provisions of the law which have to be followed at all times. 

Exception of Florida Statute of Limitations 

In Florida, the statute of limitations specifies the time frame for legal action for different civil and criminal acts. However, there are several exceptions and conditions that might cause the statute of limitations to be extended or tolled (suspended). Some frequent exceptions to the statute of limitations in Florida are:

Discovery Rule

According to the discovery rule, the statute of limitations can be tolled until the plaintiff learns or reasonably should have found the harm or cause of action. This criterion is frequently invoked in latent or concealed injury circumstances, such as medical negligence or fraud. 

Minority (Minor Children)

The statute of limitations may be extended in certain civil disputes, such as personal injury or medical negligence. In Florida, the statute of limitations normally begins to run when the minor reaches the age of majority (18 years old), not when the accident occurs.

Fraudulent Concealment

If the defendant intentionally hides the facts that give rise to the cause of action, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the plaintiff finds or reasonably should have found the fraud. This exemption applies to circumstances involving intentional misrepresentation or concealing of significant facts. 

The Continuous Treatment Doctrine

The continuous treatment doctrine allows for extending the statute of limitations in circumstances of medical misconduct. This theory suspends the statute of limitations until the patient’s treatment by the healthcare practitioner for the same disease or harm is complete.

Foreign Defendants

If the defendant resides outside of Florida, the statute of limitations may be tolled during their absence from the state. This exemption gives plaintiffs more time to bring legal action against out-of-state defendants.

Bankruptcy Stay

When a defendant files for bankruptcy, the automatic stay issued by the bankruptcy court may temporarily suspend the statute of limitations until the stay is removed or the bankruptcy procedures are completed.


The questions asked about the Florida statute of limitations have been so many in recent years.  The text above offers as much information on this issue as it is possible.  If you have some questions, you have been asking on this issue then the text above offers you all the answers you need.

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Titas Ghosh Chaudhury
Titas is a lawyer with a penchant for writing. In her leisure hours she likes to read books and collect Pokemon plushies and stay updated with different law judgements.

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