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Florida Statute of Limitations

A stylized image of the state of Florida with the words statute of limitations written on it

Statute of Limitations FL- Summary

Florida’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 Florida. 

Florida Civil Statute of Limitations

Florida’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 two – four years, depending on the type of case or procedure. 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 Florida:

Injury to Person4 yrs. §95.11(3)(o)
Libel/Slander2 yrs. §95.11(4)(g)
Fraud4 yrs. §95.11(3)(j)
Injury to Personal Property4 yrs. §95.11(3)(h)
Professional Malpractice2 yrs.; Medical: 2-4 yrs. §95.11(4)(a) and (b)
Trespass4 yrs. §95.11(3)(g)
Collection of Rents
ContractsWritten: 5 yrs. §95.11(2)(b), 1 yr. specific performance §95.11(5)(a) Oral: 4 yrs. §95.11(3)(k)
Collection of Debt on Account
JudgmentsDomestic: 20 yrs. §95.11(1); Foreign judgment: 5 yrs. §95.11(2)(a)

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

Florida Criminal Statute of Limitations

Florida’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state. As it is in most states, Florida does not place a deadline on bringing charges for crimes considered especially heinous, including murder, felony offenses that lead to death, felonies punishable by the death penalty (capital felonies) or life in prison, and perjury committed during an official proceeding related to the prosecution of a capital felony. The law says prosecutors can charge someone with one of these crimes no matter how much time has passed. Misdemeanors and lesser felonies have a statute of limitations ranging from one – five years in Florida, depending on the nature of the offense.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in Florida:

StatuteFlorida Statutes § 775.15
No Statute of LimitationsMurder, felony offenses that lead to death, felonies punishable by death (capital felonies) or life in prison, perjury committed during an official proceeding related to the prosecution of a capital felony: none.
First-Degree Felony4 yrs.
Other Felonies3 yrs.
First Degree Misdemeanor2 yrs.
Second Degree Misdemeanor1 yr
Noncriminal Violation1 yr
Specific OffensesFirst degree felony and second degree felony for abuse or neglect of aged or disabled adult: 5 yrs.; Violation of a securities transaction: 5 yrs.; Violation of environmental control: 5 yrs. (from date of discovery); Any violation in which fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation is a material element: 3 yrs.; Misconduct in public office (within two years of leaving office or any above limit – whichever is greater); Sexual crimes such as battery, assault, and intercourse under the age of eighteen (begins running at age sixteen or once the violation is reported – whichever is earlier)
Hold on Statute of LimitationsIf an alleged criminal is in hiding or out of state, max. extension of 3 yrs. 

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

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