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Statute of Limitations Ohio (Criminal And Civil Deadlines: Overview)

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What is the statute of limitations in Ohio?

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What is The Statute of Limitations In Ohio

The statute of limitations in Ohio represents a time limit established by the state law allowing a person, company, or state to file a lawsuit against another.

Different laws will establish different “deadlines” or “timelines” allowing a plaintiff to file suit.

For example, certain types of crime will have a statute of limitations where the Ohio prosecutor must file criminal charges within the legally alloted delays.

On the other hand, other types of crimes, like murder, will not have a statute of limitations.

In civil lawsuits, a civil plaintiff looking to file a lawsuit against another for breach of contract, personal injury, legal or medical malpractice, or any other type of civil claim, must do so within the applicable timeline established by law.

Criminal Statute of Limitations

When dealing with crime, the Ohio criminal laws set time limits for various crimes.

If you are dealing with a crime, offense, or wondering about the statute of limitations related to criminal conduct and offenses, it’s important to consult with a qualified criminal attorney or defense lawyer to ensure you understand your rights and the applicable law.

We offer you the following content as a general and overall guide.

General Statute of Limitations

If the law does not specifically indicate the applicable time limit for a particular crime, based on Section 2901.13 of the Ohio Revised Code, the general statute of limitations in Ohio will apply as follows:

  • Felonies: 6 years
  • misdemeanors: 2 years
  • Minor misdemeanors: 6 months 

Now let’s look at a few examples of Ohio statutes of limitations where the Ohio state specifically establishes a deadline for the prosecutor to file a criminal lawsuit.

Specific Statute of Limitations

Let’s look at certain crimes in Ohio where the law requires that a criminal action or charge be filed within a certain deadline passed which the matter becomes time-barred.

Let’s look at different types of crimes classified as serious crimes like murder, rape and sex offenses, offenses against public peace, and theft or fraud offenses:

  • Murder: no time limit
  • Aggravated murder: no time limit
  • Manslaughter: 20 years
  • Reckless or negligent homicide: 6 years
  • Rape and sexual battery: 25 years
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with minor: 20 years
  • Gross sexual imposition: 20 years
  • Compelling prostitution: 20 years 
  • Sex trafficking: 20 years
  • Felonious or aggravated assault against a police officer: 20 years
  • Felony assault: 20 years
  • Terrorism or supporting terrorism: 20 years
  • Terrorist threats: 20 years
  • Aggravated riot: 20 years
  • Robbery and burglary: 20 years
  • Identity fraud: 6 years of crime and 5 years of discovery of crime
  • Misconduct by public servant: up to 2 years after leaving office 
  • Felony theft of more than $1,000: 6 years
  • Misdemeanor theft of less than $1,000: 2 years 

Civil Statute of Limitations

A civil lawsuit or civil action is a type of lawsuit that is filed by a person, company, or state against another person, company, or state.

Civil lawsuits are filed by civil plaintiffs to seek remedy to damages suffered, to invoke certain rights or enforce others.

Just like Ohio criminal statutes, civil laws and statutes set timelines for a plaintiff to file legal action against another.

Here are some notable examples of civil statute of limitations in Ohio:

  • Actions against the state: 5 years 
  • Actions under UCC Article 2 for the sale of goods: 4 years
  • Actions on a Note under UCC: 6 years
  • Actions under the CPSA: 2 years
  • Actions to recover title or possession of real estate: 21 years
  • Actions for liability created by statute other than forfeiture or penalty: 6 years

Effective June 14, 2021, based on the Ohio Revised Code 2305.06, civil parties must assert breach of contract claims for written contracts within 6 years after the cause of action accrues (this has been changed from 8 years).

Similarly, effective June 14, 2021, causes of action based on oral contracts must be filed within 4 years as opposed to 6.

This is a perfect example of how the laws may change the statute of limitations requirements.

If a civil plaintiff does not get legal advice from an experienced and qualified attorney, he or she may inadvertently lose legal rights due to the lack of proper understanding of the time periods applicable to the applicable claims or the shortening of the statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations By Type of Actions

Although you must consider the information in this article as a guide and must verify the application of the statute of limitations with a lawyer, we have prepared the following list giving you some helpful content on legal deadlines by type of action.

Contract Actions

  • Contract in Writing: ORC 2305.06
  • Oral Contracts: ORC 2305.07
  • Breach of Contract for Sale of Goods: ORC 1302.98

Property Actions

  • Trespassing: ORC 2305.09
  • Taking or Detaining of Personal Property, or Recovery of Personal Property: ORC 2305.09
  • Eviction (Forcible Entry and Detainer): ORC 1923.01
  • Recovery of Real Property (Adverse Possession): ORC 2305.04

Tort And Personal Injury Actions

  • Assault and Battery: ORC 2305.111
  • Bodily Injury, Injury to Personal Property, Products Liability: ORC 2305.10
  • Fraud: ORC 2305.09
  • Injury to Rights of Plaintiff Not Arising on Contract and Not Otherwise Enumerated: ORC 2305.09
  • Libel, Slander, Malicious Prosecution, or False Imprisonment: ORC 2305.11
  • Malpractice: ORC 2305.11
  • Medical Malpractice: ORC 2305.113
  • Wrongful Death: ORC 2125.02(D)

Criminal Prosecutions

  • Crimes: ORC 2901.13

Tolling Statute of Limitations 

The “tolling” of statute of limitations occurs when for reasons provided under the law, the statute of limitations clock is “paused” or the deadline is “extended”.

For example, in Ohio, the law states that the prosecutor has 25 years to file a sexual battery case against a criminal defendant.

However, the law also allows the prosecutor to file criminal charges within five years after a DNA match determination is made even if the five year period extends beyond 25 years from the commission of the offense.

In the context of a civil lawsuit, let’s take the example of medical malpractice.

If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient and the patient only discovers the same a few years later, then the law may allow the statute of limitations deadline to be extended.

If you have a legal matter that you are evaluating or considering your options, it’s important that you obtain legal advice from an experienced attorney who can consider the specifics of your case and guide you as to your particular rights and obligations.

Keep in mind that laws change and statute of limitations may be revised over time.

As a result, getting legal advice is crucial to avoid unintentionally losing any rights or remedies.

Ohio Statute of Limitations Takeaways 

So, what are the statute of limitations that apply in Ohio to crimes and civil actions?

Looking to find information on matters like rape, molestation, theft, or other criminal laws?

Perhaps looking for statute of limitations information on civil matters like personal injury lawsuits, negligence claims, insurance claims, medical malpractice, or other types of claims for compensation.

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Statute of Limitations In Ohio

  • Statutes of limitations are legal “deadlines” or time periods within which a lawsuit must file filed (typically from the incident date)
  • In the context of criminal statute of limitations, Ohio prosecutors are prohibited from filing criminal charges against a person once the legal deadline is passed 
  • In the context of civil statute of limitations, an Ohio civil plaintiff must file his or her lawsuit within the allotted delays passed which the case may be dismissed in court 
  • Different states have different statutes of limitations depending on the civil action or crime
Asbestos actions 
Assault vs battery 
Bodily injuries 
Breach of contract 
Civil law 
Consumer transactions 
Corpus delicti 
Crime classification 
Criminal law
Felony vs misdemeanor 
Jail vs prison 
Medical malpractice 
Probation vs parole 
State prosecutor 
Wrongful imprisonment
Civil immunity 
Consumer loan 
Contractual claim
Credit card debt
Debt collection 
Medical debt
Medical liability 
Medical malpractice 
Ohio accident laws
Ohio criminal laws
Ohio negligence laws 
Ohio Revised Code
Student loan debt

Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


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