Lawpedia USA

Deadlines Matter: Understanding Tennessee’s Civil and Criminal Statutes of Limitations

Tennessee Statutes of Limitations: Deadlines for Civil and Criminal Actions

Filing a lawsuit is a critical step in many civil cases. To stand any chance of achieving a successful outcome, there are legal deadlines that must be met.

This article provides essential information about the

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations and its criminal counterpart. Keep reading to learn about the types of civil and criminal actions, the starting points of their respective deadlines and the consequences of missing them, and the importance of staying up to date with state laws to avoid legal complications.

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations


Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations sets deadlines for specific legal claims across multiple civil actions. These time frames differ based on the nature of the case, but the overall goal is to encourage timely legal claims.

Types of Civil Actions with Varying Deadlines

There are different types of civil actions with different deadlines. Here are some examples of civil lawsuits that fall under the

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations:


Personal injury claims

These claims include those where someone is hurt physically due to another person’s negligence. Tennessee law stipulates that these claims must commence at the plaintiff’s death or two years from the date of the injury.

2. Breach of contract lawsuits

These types of lawsuits happen when an individual or company violates contractual obligations.

In this case, the

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations stipulates a six-year period beginning from the date of the breach. 3.

Property damage

A property damage claim arises where a person or entity damages another’s property. The Tennessee law mandates that one must file this claim three years from the date the damage occurred.

Deadline Starting Points and Consequences of Missing Them

When it comes to filing a lawsuit, the date of the incident determines the starting point of the deadline for filing. Failure to file a legal claim before the deadline has several consequences, including the loss of one’s legal rights.

Once the deadline lapses, an offender can file a motion to dismiss, which can stagnate the legal process indefinitely.

Importance of Keeping Up to Date with State Laws

State laws change frequently, so staying up to date with your state laws helps you avoid falling foul of a specific legal statute. Thus, individuals need to engage an experienced attorney who will guide them through the legal process and update them on any changes in state laws that may impact their claims.

Tennessee Criminal Statute of Limitations

Criminal law is a far-reaching and dynamic aspect of jurisprudence. Tennessee law recognizes several criminal actions with varying timelines for prosecution.

Crimes with No Deadline and Others with Varying Deadlines

For the most severe offenses, there is no statute of limitations timeline. Murder is the most heinous of these and can be prosecuted without limitations on when the crime occurred.

For other criminal offenses, the statute of limitations varies based on the nature of the crime. 1.


A felony is a severe criminal offense punishable by more than a year in jail or a fine. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for felonies usually ranges from three to eight years.

Here are a few examples of felonies with varying timelines:

– Aggravated assault: Four years

– Arson: Eight years

– Burglary: Four years

2. Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor is a minor criminal offense punishable by less than a year in jail or fines.

The Tennessee criminal statute of limitations allows a one-year timeline from the date of occurrence for most misdemeanor charges. However, there are exceptions to this rule, some offenses such as gaming have a three-year timeline.

Importance of Keeping Updated on State Laws

Researching state laws is crucial to ensure you are fully aware of legal requirements, rights, and restrictions when you face a criminal charge. It is advisable to engage an experienced attorney to help you navigate the legal labyrinth efficiently.


Through this article, you have learned about the Tennessee Civil and Criminal Statute of Limitations. Civil law determines timelines for specific legal claims of several types of civil actions, including personal injury, breach of contract, and the damage of property.

Conversely, criminal law has no timeline limit for murder charges but is defined by timelines ranging from 1 to 8 years for felonies. Legal requirements and deadlines defined by state laws can be strict and require careful planning and attention.

Missing a deadline could lead to losing a chance to be heard in legal proceedings and could lead to negative consequences. Therefore, always engage an attorney to guide you on legal matters and remain up to date on any changes in state laws to avoid falling foul of criminal statutes and negative consequences.

The Tennessee Civil and Criminal Statute of Limitations sets deadlines for legal claims and prosecution. Civil actions such as personal injury, breach of contract, and property damage have different deadlines that must be met, while missing deadlines could lead to legal consequences.

Criminal offenses have no timeline for murder but can vary between 1 to 8 years for other felonies and misdemeanors. Researching and staying up-to-date with state laws is essential to avoid any legal and negative implications.

Engaging an experienced attorney can guide you through legal proceedings and protect your legal rights.

Popular Posts