Depende ito sa kung anong kaso ang isasampa.
Ayon sa Article 90 ng Revised Penal Code, ang mga krimen ay mayroong prescription o panahon kung kailan hindi na pwedeng isampa ang kaso:
Article 90. Prescription of crime. – Crimes punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or reclusion temporal shall prescribe in twenty years.
Crimes punishable by other afflictive penalties shall prescribe in fifteen years.
Those punishable by a correctional penalty shall prescribe in ten years; with the exception of those punishable by arresto mayor, which shall prescribe in five years.
The crime of libel or other similar offenses shall prescribe in one year.
The crime of oral defamation and slander by deed shall prescribe in six months.
Light offenses prescribe in two months.
When the penalty fixed by law is a compound one, the highest penalty shall be made the basis of the application of the rules contained in the first, second and third paragraphs of this article. (As amended by Republic Act No. 4661, approved June 19, 1966.
Para naman sa mga ibang krimen na sakop ng special laws, maaaring may nakasaad din silang prescription periods.
Kung hindi pa lagpas sa prescription period ay pwede pa ring isampa ang kaso kahit matagal na itong nangyari.