The Florida Highway Patrol received new information about a 2003 hit and run case that involved a fatality and are actively looking for their new suspect, according to an article on News4jax.com. The article indicates that an informant has given the police the identity of a man who was involved in an accident in 2003 that killed another man. The suspect then left the scene of the accident.
One question one may ask about this case is whether a person can be charged with a crime 7 years after the crime occurred. The statute of limitations can prevent the state from moving forward with charges if too much time has passed. The amount of time depends on the type of charges and certain other factors. However, when the crime involves a death, there is no statute of limitations in Florida.
However, in defense of the suspect, a criminal defense lawyer would obviously investigate why it took so long for this informant to come forward and identify someone 7 years after the crash. And, under what circumstances did this informant come forward? Is the informant facing charges of his own, and is he/she looking for some way to get a break from the state? Additionally, how good is the informant’s memory, and what details can he/she remember 7 years later? Are there other facts that corroborate the informant’s information?
Despite what may be shown on TV, it is not common for cases to be revived and arrests to be made based on new information several years after the alleged crime. However, it does happen, and there is no statute of limitations on death cases. But when it does happen, serious questions are raised about the reason for the delay and the strength of the evidence.