In Michigan, parameters for the statute of limitations are set out in Section 767-24 of The Code of Criminal Procedure. The statute of limitations applies to crimes that have not been charged. Once a person is charged with a crime, the statute of limitations no longer applies.
Exceptions to the Expiration of Arrest Warrants
If a warrant for arrest in a case of fraud (which includes the issuing of bad checks) is issued but not executed, it is rendered null after six years, provided the accused has lived in Michigan and has been visible during that time. Being "visible" means the person has not been hiding. The accused, for example, has a verifiable address, may have a job, is not living under an assumed name and has not changed the name.
Bad Check Laws in Michigan
Under Michigan law, a person who knowingly writes a check with insufficient funds to cover it may have to make good on the amount of the check and pay double damages if the check is for an amount between $50 and $500 dollars. The penalty applies only if a demand for payment is sent by certified mail and is not paid within 30 days. The form of the written notice, established by MSA 27A.2952, is as follows:
"On _(date) a check drawn by you for $ _ was returned to us dishonored for [ ] not sufficient funds [ ] no account. If you do not pay to us, within 30 days of the time you receive this notice, the full amount of the check in cash, we have the right to bring an action against you for 2 times the amount of the dishonored check ($__) or $50.00, whichever is greater, or to make a criminal complaint against you. If you do pay to us, within 30 days of the time you receive this notice, the full amount of the check in cash, we will not take further action against you."
The letter does not constitute an arrest warrant. If you have received such a letter in the past, you may or may not have a warrant out for your arrest. If a warrant has been issued but no attempt to execute it has been made in six years, and if you have lived in Michigan in a normal manner, the warrant is null.
Exceptions to Limits on the Statute of Limitations
There is no time limit on when a warrant for arrest may be issued in cases of murder, conspiracy or solicitation to commit murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct or terrorism violations under the Michigan anti-terrorism act, MCL 750.543a to 750.543z. There is no time limit on when a warrant for arrest may be issued for any violation of MCL 750.200 to 750.212a that is punishable by life imprisonment. MCL 750.200 to 750.212a lists a variety of offenses that might or might not be terrorism-related. Offenses for which life is a possible sentence include such felonies as setting or using a harmful device causing serious impairment, setting or using an irritant or irritant device causing death, and sending or placing an explosive causing serious impairment.
The In-State Rule
According to Section 767-24 (6), "Any period during which the party charged did not usually and publicly reside within this state is not part of the time within which the respective indictments may be found and filed."