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Code of Criminal Procedure

Title XVII. Time Limitations

Chapter 1. Limitations Upon Institution of Prosecution

Art. 571. Crimes for which there is no time limitation

            There is no time limitation upon the institution of prosecution for any crime for which the punishment may be death or life imprisonment or for the crime of forcible or second degree rape (R.S. 14:42.1).

            Amended by Acts 1984, No. 926, §1; Acts 2001, No. 207, §1; Acts 2015, No. 184, §6.

Art. 571.1. Time limitation for certain sex offenses

            Except as provided by Article 572 of this Chapter, the time within which to institute prosecution of the following sex offenses, regardless of whether the crime involves force, serious physical injury, death, or is punishable by imprisonment at hard labor shall be thirty years: attempted first degree rape, also formerly titled aggravated rape (R.S. 14:27, R.S. 14:42), attempted second degree rape, also formerly titled forcible rape (R.S. 14:27, R.S. 14:42.1), sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.1), second degree sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.2), oral sexual battery (R.S. 14:43.3), human trafficking (R.S. 14:46.2(B)(2) or (3)), trafficking of children for sexual purposes (R.S. 14:46.3), felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile (R.S. 14:80), indecent behavior with juveniles (R.S. 14:81), pornography involving juveniles (R.S. 14:81.1), molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability (R.S. 14:81.2), prostitution of persons under eighteen (R.S. 14:82.1), enticing persons into prostitution (R.S. 14:86), crime against nature (R.S. 14:89), aggravated crime against nature (R.S. 14:89.1), crime against nature by solicitation (R.S. 14:89.2(B)(3)), that involves a victim under seventeen years of age. This thirty-year period begins to run when the victim attains the age of eighteen.

            Acts 1993, No. 592, §1, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 2001, No. 207, §1; Acts 2001, No. 533, §1; Acts 2003, No. 809, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 676, §3; Acts 2005, No. 186, §1; Acts 2012, No. 446, §5; Acts 2014, No. 602, §2, eff. June 12, 2014; Acts 2016, No. 41, §1.

Art. 572. Limitation of prosecution of noncapital offenses

A.  Except as provided in Articles 571 and 571.1, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for an offense not punishable by death or life imprisonment, unless the prosecution is instituted within the following periods of time after the offense has been committed:

(1)  Six years, for a felony necessarily punishable by imprisonment at hard labor.

(2)  Four years, for a felony not necessarily punishable by imprisonment at hard labor.

(3)  Two years, for a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, or imprisonment, or both.

(4)  Six months, for a misdemeanor punishable only by a fine or forfeiture.

B.(1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 571.1 and Paragraph A of this Article, prosecutions for any sex offense may be commenced beyond the time limitations set forth in this Title if the identity of the offender is established after the expiration of such time limitation through the use of a DNA profile.

(2)  A prosecution under the exception provided by this Paragraph shall be commenced within three years from the date on which the identity of the suspect is established by DNA testing.

(3)  For purposes of this Article, "DNA" means deoxyribonucleic acid, which is located in cells and provides an individual's personal genetic blue print and which encodes genetic information that is the basis of human heredity and forensic identification.

(4)  This Paragraph shall have retroactive application to crimes committed prior to June 20, 2003.

C.  Upon expiration of the time period in which a prosecution may be instituted, any bail bond applicable to that prosecution which bond has not been forfeited shall also expire, and all obligations of that bail undertaking shall be extinguished as a matter of law.

Amended by Acts 1984, No. 926, §1; Acts 2001, No. 207, §1; Acts 2003, No. 487, §2, eff. June 20, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 809, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2006, No. 123, §1, eff. June 2, 2006.

NOTE: See Acts 2003, No. 487, §5, relative to application.

Art. 573. Running of time limitations;  exception

The time limitations established by Article 572 shall not commence to run as to the following offenses until the relationship or status involved has ceased to exist when:

(1)  The offense charged is based on the misappropriation of any money or thing of value by one who, by virtue of his office, employment, or fiduciary relationship, has been entrusted therewith or has control thereof.

(2)  The offense charged is extortion or false accounting committed by a public officer or employee in his official capacity.

(3)  The offense charged is public bribery.

(4)  The offense charged is aggravated battery (R.S. 14:34) and the victim is under seventeen years of age.

Added by Acts 1982, No. 753, §1; Acts 1987, No. 587, §1; Acts 1988, No. 436, §1; Acts 1988, No. 693, §1; Acts 1993, No. 592, §1, eff. June 15, 1993.

Art. 573.1. Running of time limitations;  exception;  exploitation of persons with infirmities

The time limitations established by Article 572 of this Code shall not commence to run as to the crime of exploitation of persons with infirmities (R.S. 14:93.4) until the crime is discovered by a competent victim, or in the case of an incompetent victim, by a competent third person.

Acts 2010, No. 317, §1; Acts 2014, No. 811, §31, eff. June 23, 2014.

Art. 573.2. Running of time limitations;  exception;  video voyeurism

            The time limitations established by Article 572 shall not commence to run as to the crime of video voyeurism (R.S. 14:283) until the crime is discovered by the victim.

            Acts 2016, No. 352, §1.

Art. 573.3. Running of time limitations;  exception;  crimes against the Firefighters' Retirement System

            The time limitations established by this Chapter shall not commence to run as to a crime described in R.S. 11:2261.1(C) and committed against the Firefighters' Retirement System until the crime is discovered by the Firefighters' Retirement System.

            Acts 2018, No. 115, §2.

Art. 574. Conviction and punishment for lesser offenses;  limitations applicable

The time limitations applicable to the offense for which a person is prosecuted apply to a conviction or punishment for a lesser and included offense.

Art. 575. Interruption of time limitations

The periods of limitation established by this Chapter shall be interrupted when the defendant:

(1)  For the purpose of avoiding detection, apprehension or prosecution, flees from the state, is outside the state, or is absent from his usual place of abode within the state; or

(2)  Lacks mental capacity to proceed at trial and is committed in accordance with Article 648 of this Code.

Amended by Acts 1979, No. 318, §1.

Art. 575.1. Suspension of time limitations;  crimes against the Firefighters' Retirement System

            The periods of limitation established by this Chapter shall be suspended when a civil suit is filed as provided in R.S. 11:2261.1(C).

            Acts 2018, No. 115, §2.

Art. 576. Filing of new charges upon dismissal of prosecution

When a criminal prosecution is timely instituted in a court of proper jurisdiction and the prosecution is dismissed by the district attorney with the defendant's consent, or before the first witness is sworn at the trial on the merits, or the indictment is dismissed by a court for any error, defect, irregularity, or deficiency, a new prosecution for the same offense or for a lesser offense based on the same facts may be instituted within the time established by this Chapter or within six months from the date of dismissal, whichever is longer.

A new prosecution shall not be instituted under this article following a dismissal of the prosecution by the district attorney unless the state shows that the dismissal was not for the purpose of avoiding the time limitation for commencement of trial established by Article 578.

Art. 577. Pleading of limitation;  burden of proof

The issue that a prosecution was not timely instituted may be raised at any time, but only once, and shall be tried by the court alone.  If raised during the trial, a hearing thereon may be deferred until the end of the trial.

The state shall not be required to allege facts showing that the time limitation has not expired, but when the issue is raised, the state has the burden of proving the facts necessary to show that the prosecution was timely instituted.

Chapter 2. Limitations Upon Trial

Art. 578. General rule

A.  Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, no trial shall be commenced nor any bail obligation be enforceable:

(1)  In capital cases after three years from the date of institution of the prosecution;

(2)  In other felony cases after two years from the date of institution of the prosecution; and

(3)  In misdemeanor cases after one year from the date of institution of the prosecution.

B.  The offense charged shall determine the applicable limitation.

Acts 2006, No. 123, §1, eff. June 2, 2006.

Art. 579. Interruption of time limitation

A.  The period of limitation established by Article 578 shall be interrupted if:

(1)  The defendant at any time, with the purpose to avoid detection, apprehension, or prosecution, flees from the state, is outside the state, or is absent from his usual place of abode within the state; or

(2)  The defendant cannot be tried because of insanity or because his presence for trial cannot be obtained by legal process, or for any other cause beyond the control of the state; or

(3)  The defendant fails to appear at any proceeding pursuant to actual notice, proof of which appears of record.

B.  The periods of limitation established by Article 578 shall commence to run anew from the date the cause of interruption no longer exists.

C.  If the defendant fails to appear in court pursuant to any provision of this Article and the defendant is subsequently arrested, the periods of limitations established by Article 578 of this Code shall not commence to run anew until the defendant appears in person in open court where the case on the original charge is pending, or the district attorney prosecuting the original charge has notice of the defendant's custodial location.  For purposes of this Paragraph, "notice" shall mean either of the following:

(1)  Filing in the court record by either the defendant or his counsel advising the court of his incarceration with a copy provided to the district attorney and certification of notice provided to the district attorney.

(2)  Following the seventy-two hour hearing provided by Article 230.1 of this Code, actual notice of arrest is provided to the district attorney and filed in the record of the proceeding of which the warrant against the defendant was issued.

Amended by Acts 1984, No. 671, §1; Acts 2013, No. 6, §1.

Art. 580. Suspension of time limitations

A.  When a defendant files a motion to quash or other preliminary plea, the running of the periods of limitation established by Article 578 shall be suspended until the ruling of the court thereon; but in no case shall the state have less than one year after the ruling to commence the trial.

B.  The periods of limitation established by Article 578 shall also be suspended if the court grants a continuance in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph B of Article 709.

Acts 2010, No. 744, §1, eff. June 29, 2010.

Art. 581. Expiration of limitations;  motion to quash;  effect

Upon the expiration of the limitations established by this Chapter, the court shall, upon motion of the defendant, dismiss the indictment.  This right of dismissal is waived unless the motion to quash is made prior to trial.

If the indictment is dismissed under this article, there shall be no further prosecution against the defendant for the same or a lesser offense based on the same facts.

Art. 582. Time limitations;  effect of new trial

When a defendant obtains a new trial or there is a mistrial, the state must commence the second trial within one year from the date the new trial is granted, or the mistrial is ordered, or within the period established by Article 578, whichever is longer.

Art. 583. Interruption of time limitation where new trial

The period of limitation established by Article 582 shall be interrupted by any of the causes stated in Article 579.  Where such interruption occurs, the state must commence the new trial within one year from the date the cause of interruption no longer exists.

Added by Acts 1972, No. 647, §1.

Title XVIII. Double Jeopardy

Art. 591. Double jeopardy;  definition

No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty for the same offense, except, when on his own motion, a new trial has been granted or judgment has been arrested, or where there has been a mistrial legally ordered under the provisions of Article 775 or ordered with the express consent of the defendant.

Art. 592. When jeopardy begins

When a defendant pleads not guilty and is tried by jury, jeopardy begins when the jury panel is sworn pursuant to Article 790.  When a defendant pleads not guilty, and is tried without a jury, jeopardy begins when the first witness is sworn at the trial on the merits.  When a defendant pleads guilty, jeopardy begins when a valid sentence is imposed.

Acts 1990, No. 525, §1.

Art. 593. Method of pleading

Double jeopardy shall be raised by a written motion setting forth the name of the court, the proceeding in which the defendant was in jeopardy, and the facts constituting double jeopardy.

Art. 594. Method of trial;  time for disposition

Double jeopardy may be raised at any time, but only once, and shall be tried by the court alone.  If raised during the trial, a hearing thereon may be deferred until the end of the trial.

Art. 595. Double jeopardy;  when not applicable

A person shall not be considered as having been in jeopardy in a trial in which:

(1)  The court was illegally constituted or lacked jurisdiction;

(2)  The prosecution was dismissed because it was instituted in an improper venue; or

(3)  The indictment was invalid.

Art. 596. Requirements for double jeopardy

Double jeopardy exists in a second trial only when the charge in that trial is:

(1)  Identical with or a different grade of the same offense for which the defendant was in jeopardy in the first trial, whether or not a responsive verdict could have been rendered in the first trial as to the charge in the second trial; or

(2)  Based on a part of a continuous offense for which offense the defendant was in jeopardy in the first trial.

Art. 597. Prosecution in other jurisdiction

Double jeopardy does not apply to a prosecution under a law enacted by the Louisiana Legislature if the prior jeopardy was in a prosecution under the laws of another state or the United States.

Amended by Acts 1972, No. 648, §1.

Art. 598. Effect of verdict

A.  When a person is found guilty of a lesser degree of the offense charged, the verdict or judgment of the court is an acquittal of all greater offenses charged in the indictment and the defendant cannot thereafter be tried for those offenses on a new trial.

B.  When a jury returns a verdict in the sentencing hearing in a capital case determining that the defendant should be sentenced to life imprisonment, the defendant cannot thereafter be sentenced to death for that offense on a new trial.

Amended by Acts 1973, No. 133, §1; Acts 1980, No. 430, §1; Acts 1988, No. 779, §1, eff. July 18, 1988.

Title XIX. Jurisdiction and Venue

Art. 611. Venue;  trial where offense committed

            A. All trials shall take place in the parish where the offense has been committed, unless the venue is changed. If acts constituting an offense or if the elements of an offense occurred in more than one place, in or out of the parish or state, the offense is deemed to have been committed in any parish in this state in which any such act or element occurred.

            B. If the offender is charged with any criminal homicide enumerated in R.S. 14:29 or any other crime involving the death of a human being and it cannot be determined where the offense or the elements of the offense occurred, the offense is deemed to have been committed in the parish where the body of the victim was found.

            C. If the offender is charged with any of the following offenses, the offense is deemed to have been committed either in the parish where the offense occurred or where the victim resides:

            (1) R.S. 14:67.3, unauthorized use of an access card.

            (2) R.S. 14:67.16, identity theft.

            (3) R.S. 14:70.4, access device fraud.

            (4) R.S. 14:70.8, illegal transmission of monetary funds.

            (5) R.S. 14:71.1, bank fraud.

            (6) R.S. 14:72, forgery.

            (7) R.S. 14:72.2, monetary instrument abuse.

            D.(1) If the offender is charged with the crime of accessory after the fact, the offense is deemed to have been committed either in the parish where the principal felony was committed or in the parish where any act or element constituting the basis for the accessory after the fact prosecution occurred.

            (2) If the offender is charged with the crime of obstruction of justice, the offense is deemed to have been committed either in the parish of the underlying actual or potential present, past, or future criminal proceeding or investigation or in the parish where any act or element constituting the basis for the obstruction of justice prosecution occurred.

            Acts 2004, No. 379, §1; Acts 2006, No. 158, §1; Acts 2017, No. 164, §1, eff. June 12, 2017; Acts 2018, No. 125, §1.

Art. 612. Offenses on railway trains, vessels, aircraft, or other vehicles

If an offense is committed on a train, vessel, aircraft, or other public or private vehicle while in transit in this state and the exact place of the offense in this state cannot be established, the offense is deemed to have been committed in any parish through or over which the train, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle passed, and in which the crime could have been committed.

Art. 613. Jurisdiction of court where body of water is parish boundary

When a river, bayou, lake, water course, or other body of water is the boundary of any parish, the jurisdiction of the court of such parish extends to the middle of such river, bayou, lake, water course, or other body of water.

Art. 614. Venue where offense committed within one hundred feet of parish boundary

An offense committed on the boundary line of two parishes or within one hundred feet thereof is deemed to have been committed in either parish.

Art. 615. Improper venue;  pleading

Improper venue shall be raised in advance of trial by motion to quash, and shall be tried by the judge alone.  Venue shall not be considered an essential element to be proven by the state at trial, rather it shall be a jurisdictional matter to be proven by the state by a preponderance of the evidence and decided by the court in advance of trial.

Acts 1988, No. 554, §1.