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Criminal Resource Manual

651. Statute of Limitations for Continuing Offenses

Normally, a statute of limitations begins to run on the date when the offense is completed. See Toussie v. United States, 397 U.S. 112 (1970). Some offenses, by their nature, have attributes of nonfinality and are called continuing offenses. For example, possession-of-contraband offenses are continuing offenses. Von Eichelberger v. United States, 252 F.2d 184 (9th Cir. 1958). Escape from federal custody is a continuing offense, see United States v. Bailey, 444 U.S. 394 (1980), as is conspiracy, see this Manual at 652.

The finding that an offense is a continuing offense is disfavored. It must be found that "the explicit language of the substantive criminal statute compels such a conclusion, or that the nature of the crime involved is such that Congress must assuredly have intended that it be treated as a continuing one." Toussie, supra, at 115.

[cited in USAM 9-18.000]