I was reading about Summary only offences here, focusing on the England & Wales jurisdiction, where the general rule is a six months statute of limitations.

The general rule for time bars on summary only offences is that prosecutions will be time barred if Informations are laid more than six months after the date of the offence 1.

I am a little unclear, so I will provide a brief example.

Imagine a suspect commits a Summary only offence, which is reported to the police on the same day, along with other relevant information to identify the suspect. If the suspect evades capture for six months, for example by moving address temporarily, would the police still be allowed to arrest and charge the suspect at a future date after six months?

1 Answer 1


The limitation period does not run while the suspect is a fugitive

For your example, the government has 6 months to commence action against the suspect. There are four ways they can do this. Once commenced, the limitation period is irrelevant - it can take a day, or a year, or a decade for the suspect to be brought before a court so long as the process was started within 6 months.

  • Do you have a source for this? Also, by the government do you mean the police, CPS, or who?
    – questioner
    May 23, 2022 at 15:10

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