How long do I have to press sexual assault charges after an assault has occurred? 76 Answers as of June 28, 2013

My stepfather sexually assaulted me when I was 4 and 13. Is it too late to press charges?

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Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
Forever in Wyoming, there is no statute of limitations in this state. You may file charges in Wyoming.
Answer Applies to: Wyoming
Replied: 6/28/2013
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
You did not indicate how old you are now. You should contact your local police to inquire about the time frame to press criminal charges.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/8/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Depends on how old you are now. Just go to the police.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/8/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
You need to make a police report and ask the police to send it to the Prosecuting Attorney. He will decide whether or not to prosecute.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/7/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
Sorry, I do not handle criminal matters, but the police or state?s attorney will have your answer.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/7/2012
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    Legally, there may be a 'statute of limitations' which would prevent the prosecuting attorney from pursuing the case or protect the perpetrator from being held responsible. My advice is to file a report with your local police and let it and the prosecutor determine whether to fle charges.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    There is no statute of limitations to bring criminal charges for sexual assault. It does become more difficult, however, with the passage of time. You should contact the law enforcement agency in the City or County where the assaults occurred.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
    Under Michigan law if you are under the age of 23 years you could still file a complaint because the statute requires that a complaint be filed by age 21 or within 10 years of the last offense. If the sexual assault is a forcible rape there is no statute of limitations. If you qualify under the statute you should immediately report what happened to you to the police.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    You did not state your age now, but my best guess is no, it is not. Contact the District Attorney in your county.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
    Check your state's statute of limitations statute, or simply contact your local district attorney's office and relay your story. They will know if the statute has run on your case. In most areas there is a 7 year statute for most crimes, the most notable exception is murder). The question to answer is when does the statute begin to run. I would think that for crimes that happened to you when you were age 3 and 14 that you would be given some additional time since you were only a minor and wouldn't have been allowed to sign the affidavits on your own. Again, I would advise you to contact the district attorney's office.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Ford, Howard & Cornett, P.C. | Bradley Cornett
    In Alabama, the statute of limitations for the personal injury claim of a minor is tolled until the minor reached the age of majority (which is 19 in Alabama). You should consult with an attorney to discuss in more detail. Most attorneys will provide a free initial consultation without obligation.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Until you are 19.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    It depends If you want to bring charges I suggest you report the incident to the police and let the authorities take it from there.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    It is never "too late" to report a sexual assault. The law treats sexual assault charges differently from other types of crimes and "late" reporting is not uncommon given the young age of the victims. Whether the perpetrator can be prosecuted depends on several factors which the police and prosecutor will review. Reporting the crime may also lead to the discovery of other victims.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
    This type of actionable matter can date from the "discovery" date, or when victim has realized that a violation occurred.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    No. Contact your local police department.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Gebler & Weiss, P.C. | Jerrie S. Weiss
    Depends on how old you are now.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    There is a 7 year statute of limitations for most crimes. If you do not report the crime until after that period the prosecutor cannot charge the person. That is because it is too hard to defend a case if it is not charged in a timely manner. I do not know how old you are or when the assault occurred, but if it is over the time limit he cannot be charged.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    Go to the police right away! If this is hard, you may want to go to a women's center for some support. But do it. It probably is not too late.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Call the D.A. and they can tell you. It depends on how old you are now. I think it is 6 years after you "discover" it which is not as silly as it sounds as a lot of people repress a memory of something like this which only surfaces later. You can also sue the sick bastard.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    No, you can still report him.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    How old are you now? There is a statute of limitations on the crime and it may have ran out. Also, if a case is old or stale a DA may not want to file the case.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    VALENTE SCHARG & ASSOCIATES | DEAN VALENTE
    Impossible to say since you don't indicate your current age. In some instances the courts have allowed such charges based upon spontaneous recollection of suppressed memories while in therapy many years later.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    The Jordan Law Firm
    The Jordan Law Firm | John Paul Jordan
    You normally have 1 year after reading the age of majority to file suit and try to press charges. The age of majority in Oklahoma is 18.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Ryan Berman, Esq | Ryan Berman
    You didn't indicate how old you are now.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You should consult with a police officer and make a report of the crimes. The District prosecutor will then decide whether charges can still be brought.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Criminal charges? You can TRY to file with police where it occurred, subject to statute of limitations restrictions they can discuss with you. It is within their discretion whether to file and pursue charges. Civil lawsuit? In an action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse, the time for commencement of the action shall be within eight years of the date the plaintiff attains the age of majority [18] or within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse, whichever period expires later? Thus, your 26th birthday is the final time to file suit, unless you can prove the much disputed recovered memory claim. The longer after the incident, the less likely to have a viable case. IF you are still timely under those rules, you still have to face the burden of proving that it occurred, and you suffered legal recognizable damages which are worth substantial enough verdict value to justify spending the time, money and emotional investment in the case, just like any personal injury case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You can report the incidents to the local authorities. They will decide whether charges are barred by the passage of time. You need not make that decision yourself. If you are thinking in terms of a civil lawsuit, the limitation period may be more liberal.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    No, it's not too late. The outcry can take as long as you need. Just call the police and file charges.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Andrew D. Campbell, Attorney at Law | Andrew D. Campbell
    There is no statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault in Michigan. Your main concern will be whether you can present viable evidence of the assaults from years back. This obviously depends on how old you are now and how many years it has been since the assaults.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Offices of Sharp and Driver | Matt Sharp
    No. There is no statute of limitations for sexual assault of a child.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Depends on your age now. The Statute of Limitations does not begin to run until you are 18. Make a police report.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    I am not sure, please contact your local police department or county prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    18 years after you turn21. So it depends. Cases that are old are often more difficult to obtain a conviction.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    According to RCW 70.125.030 (7) "sexual assault" means one or more of the following: (a) Rape or rape of a child; (b) Assault with intent to commit rape or rape of a child; (c) Incest or indecent liberties; (d) Child molestation; (e) Sexual misconduct with a minor; (f) Custodial sexual misconduct; (g) Crimes with a sexual motivation; or (h) An attempt to commit any of the aforementioned offenses. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=70.125&full=true#70.125.030). Each of the crimes may have a different statute of limitations. In general, RCW 9A.04.080 addresses limitations on criminal actions. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.04.080). In a civil action, the limitation period for commencement of an action to recover money damages is usually three years from the date of the incident or three years from the 18th birthday of the victim. RCW 4.16.080 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=4.16&full=true#4.16.080). RCW 4.16.190 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=4.16&full=true#4.16.190). In cases of childhood sexual abuse, see RCW 4.16.340: (1) All claims or causes of action based on intentional conduct brought by any person for recovery of damages for injury suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse shall be commenced within the later of the following periods: (a) Within three years of the act alleged to have caused the injury or condition; (b) Within three years of the time the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the injury or condition was caused by said act; or (c) Within three years of the time the victim discovered that the act caused the injury for which the claim is brought: PROVIDED, That the time limit for commencement of an action under this section is tolled for a child until the child reaches the age of eighteen years. (2) The victim need not establish which act in a series of continuing sexual abuse or exploitation incidents caused the injury complained of, but may compute the date of discovery from the date of discovery of the last act by the same perpetrator which is part of a common scheme or plan of sexual abuse or exploitation. (3) The knowledge of a custodial parent or guardian shall not be imputed to a person under the age of eighteen years. (4) For purposes of this section, "child" means a person under the age of eighteen years. (5) As used in this section, "childhood sexual abuse" means any act committed by the defendant against a complainant who was less than eighteen years of age at the time of the act and which act would have been a violation of chapter 9A.44 RCW or RCW 9.68A.040 or prior laws of similar effect at the time the act was committed. [199 http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=4.16.340
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    You did not disclose your current age. Are you now an adult? You should seek the advice of either a criminal law attorney or discuss the alleged child sexual assault charge with the local county prosecuting attorney's office.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Well I need more information to answer that definitely. Go to the Magistrates Office and file your Criminal Complaint. Let them sort it out. That is their job.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Contact the police immediately. It may be too late for criminal charges to be pressed for what he did to you but it may not be too late for other children. If he did it to you he has probably sexually assaulted other children. He needs to be reported.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I cannot answer some I do not know how long ago it was, you did not say how old you are now. Generally the time to file would not start until you are 18.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Depends on what precise laws might have been broken, how old you are etc. why don't you talk to the local DA and see what he thi nks. He will know the answer and he can tell you whether it is wise to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    From a criminal standpoint, the sooner the better ! How old are you? That answer impacts any potential civil claim you may have for damages against him. You should contact the prosecutor in your county/city right away. If you intend to file a lawsuit for money damages, there is an important timeline to adhere to. I successfully settled such a claim for damages 25 years after the abuse but that was exceptional.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    In your question, you don't say how old you are now so it's impossible to answer accurately. Talk to a prosecutor and find out if it's too late. In Utah, the statute of limitations is 4 years from the day you turn 18 your 22nd birthday. Special circumstance might extend that time.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Criminal limitations periods: There is no time limit for class A felonies. For all other felonies the time limit is five years. For misdemeanors the time limit is two years and the time limit is one year for violations. There are no time limits on warrants.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    It may or may not be too late.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Thomas C. Brandstrader Attorney At Law | Thomas C. Brandstrader
    The longer you wait the harder it will be.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Only a prosecutor may file criminal charges. You must make a report to police who will determine if the facts form a basis to submit charges to a prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    Depends on how old you are now and perhaps why it was not reported earlier- contact the police department and file a complaint, the police and prosecutor will determine if it is chargeable.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Gingo & Orth | George Gingo
    It depends on how old you are now and whether you had repressed memories. You need to talk to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    There is time limit to press such charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    The statute of limitations in serious sex offenses may not expire until the victim turns 30 years old, depending on the details. A lawyer could assist you to determine whether a prosecution in your case would still be timely. So could a prosecutor or a victim-rights advocate, but once the matter is reported to the authorities, you will have less control over the process.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    It depends on how old you are now.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
    Talk to local police immediately. Let them decide.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    In general, A minor has until their 18th birthday plus one year to file a suit. There are some exceptions to the statue of limitations that may apply. You should consult a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Tuttle and Associates | Jeffrey Brook Tuttle
    If you can prove the assault occurred, you can seek monetary damages via a civil claim as well.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    How old are you now? When did this occur? What was the nature of the sexual battery? These three questions must be answered before your question can be answered. If you call your local Commonwealth Attorney's office, they will answer you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Doubtful but up to prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There is normally no statute of limitations for sexually related offenses involving minors. If there were a statute it would only commence to run after you had attained the age of majority. I suggest that you go seek help from a licensed counselor and let them assist you in filing a report of the abuse.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    I actually handled a case like that, so I have some "real world" experience. It depends on your age now. Basically, this is considered an "intentional" act, and so it only has a 2 year Statute of Limitations. However, since you were a child when it happened, you could bring suit through an adult (as a child you cannot make contracts) until your 18th birthday. However, on turning 18, as an adult you can file suit in your own name until your 19th birthday. Failure to sue before your 19th birthday will bar you from any recovery. My client had been so traumatized by the repeated sexual assaults that she had a complete mental breakdown. The law protected her because she was under a disability, and so I was able to file suit as soon as her therapist gave me a report that said that she was now capable of assisting me pursue her claim.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    How old are you now is the first question. If you are speaking to criminal prosecution, see your county prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM | A. Wade Leathers, Sr.
    Consult with the District Attorney. I do not believe there is a limitations period on this offense.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Depends on what you mean by "press charges". You may not criminally prosecute anyone. The government does that. You would have to report the incident to law enforcement. hether or not there is a criminalprosecution will depend on the statuteof limitations and its application to your situation. If you mean to file a civil suit, there is another statute of limitations. Its application also depends on your age and when this happened.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP
    Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP | Britany M. Engelman
    No, it is not too late to press charges. Reference the recent criminal trial against Jerry Sandusky. Most of the things he was tried for occurred decades ago.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    If you wish to report a crime or crimes, then go to the police department where the crime (or crimes) happened. The police department will hopefully inform you what else is needed.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You should call the police to ask this question or call the county prosecutor's office and ask for the sex crimes unit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Probably not. Go ask the cops. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    It may not be. Contact the local state attorney's office or perhaps the statewide prosecutor's office to find out more.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    It depends on your age now. You should report it to the police so they can investigate and give them your age now to see if the Statute of Limitations has expired.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 7/31/2012
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