One major aspect of criminal defense cases is the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, like many other states around the United States, set what are known as statute of limitations on certain crimes. rape Essentially a statute of limitation is the time period in which the prosecutor may bring charges against an individual. If the time period elapses over the set limit, then charges cannot be filed. It may seem unusual to set a time period for when a person can and cannot be charged with a crime, but statutes of limitations are put in place for a good reason. They are put in place to ensure that the evidence that applies to a certain case, is protected against degeneration. Witnesses to crimes may die off, move or their memories of the event may fade if charges aren't filed in a timely manner. Blood samples and other key pieces of evidence may be misplaced when filing or deteriorate over time.