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Colorado Statute of Limitations

A Stylized image of Colorado with the words statute of limitations written on it

Statute of Limitations CO- Summary

Colorado’s 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 Colorado. 

Colorado Civil Statute of Limitations

Colorado’s 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, but claims related to rent and debt collection have a limitation of six years. The date or discovery of an incident is usually when time starts counting down.

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 Colorado:

Injury to Person2 yrs. §13-80-102 (a); If from use or operation of a motor vehicle: 3 yrs. §13-80-101(n)
Libel/Slander1 yr. §13-80-103(1)(a)
FraudFor actions under §13-80-103(g): 1 yr.; For actions under §13-80-101(1)(c): 3 yrs.
Injury to Personal Property2 yrs.; If from use or operation of a motor vehicle: 3 yrs. §13-80-101(n)
Professional MalpracticeVet: 2 yrs. §13-80- 102(1)(c); Medical: 2 yrs. upon discovery §13-80-102
Trespass2 yrs. §13-80-102
Collection of Rents6 yrs. §13-80-1035(1)(b)
ContractsWritten: 3 yrs. §13-80-101; Oral: 3 yrs. §13-80- 101; If tort action for tortious breach of contract: 2 yrs. §13-80-102
Collection of Debt on AccountIf the contract falls under §13-80- 103.5: 6 yrs.
Judgments

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

Colorado Criminal Statute of Limitations

Colorado’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state. As it is in most states, New York does not place a deadline on bringing charges for crimes considered especially heinous, including murder, kidnapping, treason, and forgery. The law says prosecutors can charge someone with one of these crimes no matter how much time has passed. 

The statute of limitations for misdemeanors in Colorado ranges from six months to five years, depending on the crime. Most misdemeanors have a limit of 18 months, while Class I and II and traffic offenses carry one year, petty offenses are limited to six months, and 3rd degree sexual assault has a statute of five years. The time limit within which criminal charges may be brought begins once the crime is identified, or should have been identified.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado:

Code SectionCOL. REV. STAT. §16-5-401: Limitation For Commencing Criminal Proceedings And Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings
FeloniesMurder, attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit murder, kidnapping, attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit kidnapping, treason, attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit treason, any forgery despite the given penalty, attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any forgery despite the given penalty: none; sexual assault, aggravated incest, trafficking in or sexual exploitation of children, soliciting for child prostitution, pandering or procurement of a child: 10 yrs.; other felonies: 3 yrs. (bribery and abuse of public office: 3 yr. extension; sexual offenses on children under 15 yrs. of age: 7 yr. extension)
Misdemeanors18 months.; Class I and II and traffic offenses: 1 yr.; petty offenses: 6 mos.; 3rd degree sexual assault: 5 yrs.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not RunIf an alleged criminal is in hiding or out of state, max. extension of 5 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 a Colorado attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

Colorado Recording Laws