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Arkansas Statute of Limitations

A stylized picture of Arkansas with the writing Statute of Limitations on it

Statute of Limitations AR- Summary

Arkansas statute of limitations establishes a deadline before which civil cases – such as lawsuits – must be filed in the state. In relation to criminal charges, it also prevents prosecutors from charging an individual with a crime after a specified period of time has passed. The statutes of limitations for different civil actions and crimes can vary from state to state, so read on for more information about how they apply in Arkansas. 

Arkansas Civil Statute of Limitations

Arkansas civil statute of limitations sets deadlines under which lawsuits and other civil actions must be filed in the state. These limits typically range from one – three years, depending on the type of case or procedure, and the date or discovery of an incident is usually when time starts counting down. Arkansas puts a three-year limit on most civil claims, including personal injury, injury to property, and libel. Cases of slander fall under a one-year deadline, while written contracts carry a limit of five years, and judgments are allowed a ten-year statute of limitations.

Be aware that if you fail to file your civil claim before the established deadline, the opposing party can use the statute of limitations in their defense and file a motion to dismiss the case on the basis that the time allotted to file it has already passed. Any legal claim will be lost forever once your case is dismissed. 

A summary of civil statutes of limitations in Arkansas:

Injury to Person3 yrs. §16-56-104
Libel/SlanderLibel: 3 yrs. §16-56-105 Slander: 1 yr. §§16-56-104
FraudCommon law fraud, fraud and deceit: 3 yrs. §16-56-105
Injury to Personal Property3 yrs. §16-56-105
Professional MalpracticeLegal: 3 yrs. §16-56-105; Medical: 2 yrs. §16-114-203
Trespass3 yrs. §16-56-105
Collection of Rents3 yrs. §16-56-105
ContractsWritten: 5 yrs. §16-56-111; Oral: 3 yrs. §16-56-105
Collection of Debt on Account3 yrs. if not written or under seal §16-56-105
Judgments10 yrs. §16-56-114

State laws related to filing lawsuits can change often. While our goal is to provide the most current information available, please consider contacting an Arkansas attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

Arkansas Criminal Statute of Limitations

Arkansas criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state. As it is in most states, Arkansas does not place a deadline on bringing charges for the crime of murder, which prosecutors may charge someone with no matter how much time has passed. 

All misdemeanors carry a one-year statute of limitations in the state of Arkansas, while the limitations placed on felonies can vary more. Rape carries a 15-year statute of limitations, Class Y and A felonies have a six-year time limit, and Class B, C, and D felonies are given a three-year limit.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Arkansas:

Code Section5-1-109
FeloniesMurder: none; rape: 15 yrs.; Class Y and A felonies: 6 yrs.; Class B, C, D, or unclassified felonies: 3 yrs.; if crime is related to fraud or breach of fiduciary duty: 1 yr.; felonious actions in public office: 5 yrs. with max. extension to 10 yrs.; if crime is against minor and the statute has not run out since victim turned 18, the statutory period starts at age of majority.
Misdemeanors1 yr.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunIf an alleged criminal is in hiding or out of state, max. extension of 3 yrs.; statutory periods begin once a crime is or should have been identified

State laws are always subject to change. While our goal is to provide the most current information available, please consider contacting an Arkansas attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

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