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Name: People v. Lynch
Case #: D053727
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/16/2010
Summary

Remand was required for the trial court to determine whether the statute of limitations was tolled during period defendant was out of state. Lynch was convicted of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, corporal injury on a cohabitant, and several other offenses arising out of the 2001 shooting of his girlfriend. On appeal, he contended for the first time that the trial court erred in dismissing all of the counts except the attempted murder on statute of limitations grounds. Respondent acknowledged that the counts in dispute were not charged within the applicable statute of limitations, but asked the court to remand the matter to the trial court for a hearing on whether the statute was tolled prior to the time the charges were filed. The appellate court agreed that remand was appropriate. For statute of limitation purposes, a prosecution begins when a complaint is filed or an arrest warrant is issued. Also, the statute of limitations may be tolled up to three years when a defendant is out of state. Lynch testified that he and his girlfriend lived in Arizona for the period between the shooting and his arrest. Here, because the matter was not raised until after trial, it was unclear whether the arrest warrant was filed within the three-year statute of limitations period or whether the statute may have been tolled for some period of time while Lynch was outside of California. Given the state of the record on appeal, the appellate court was unable to determine whether the actions were time barred, so remand was required for the trial court to decide.