If someone committed a crime and was able to make it to a country w/o any extradition arrangements with the US, and w/o any formal diplomatic relations (I’m thinking of Iran in this instance but other countries work too that fit this), and the criminal has dual citizenship in this other nation, could they openly communicate with the police stating their intention when they return to report for questioning, but has put all affairs in the US on hold till they return, but that return date would just happen to be right after the statute of limitations is over. How would this work?
From what I understand, the time limit is put on hold if the suspect is out of jurisdiction. So, a criminal commits a crime. Six months later, he goes to Ruritania, which has no extradition treaty. He stays there for ten years. After that time he returns to the US. As far as the Statute of Limitations is concerned, his crime was six months ago.
So, if he spends those ten years sending rude letters to the police, he can be tried, and the letters are evidence.
Other jurisdictions have statute of limitation “recipes” for designated felonies. In such cases, a specific amount of time can be added on to the established limit if the case experiences extenuating circumstances. This includes cases where there is DNA or when the investigator can document that the suspect is out of the jurisdiction for a period of time.
IANAL but as I understand it, the statute of limitations only applies as far as starting a prosecution. It doesn’t apply as some game clock to burn out, as if it were the 4th quarter of a football game.
Say the statute of limitations for arson is 20 years. John Doe is guilty of arson in the year 1993 but the police only learn of the crime today, and want to prosecute him now. Too late - the time limit is past. Prosecution cannot be started.
But if the police had been hunting for Doe starting in 1995, and been pursuing him all the way til now, statute of limitations doesn’t apply. Doe can be arrested, charged and convicted even if it’s the year 2022 now.