Is There a Statute Of Limitations For Sex Crimes?

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Yes, there is a statute of limitations for sex crimes in Georgia. Generally speaking, under O.C.G.A. ยง 17-3-1, the statute for the commission of felonies is that the prosecution can not be initiated any later than four years from the commission of the crime.

Some offenses to children under the age of 16 will have a statute of limitations of seven years. There are other exceptions with certain sex crimes. A rape prosecution has a statute of limitations of 15 years.

If there is DNA evidence that identifies the accused of armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated child molestation, there is no statute of limitations.

If the offense is charged as a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations is always two years.

Date of Alleged Offense

When the crime is said to have occurred also plays a role in Georgia statute of limitations law.

For offenses between July 1, 1992, and June 30, 2012, the statute of limitations is seven years and does not begin until the complainant reaches 16 years of age or the offense is reported to law. Those offenses are:

  • Cruelty to children
  • Rape
  • Sodomy and aggravated sodomy
  • Statutory rape
  • Child molestation and aggravated child molestation
  • Enticing a child for indecent purposes
  • Incest

For offenses alleged after July 1, 2012, if the complainant is under 16 years old and the offense is charged as a felony, there is no statute of limitations.

  • Trafficking a person for sexual servitude
  • Cruelty to children in the first degree
  • Rape
  • Aggravated sodomy
  • Child molestation or aggravated child molestation
  • Enticing a child for indecent purposes
  • Incest

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney at Moffitt Law

If you are being accused of a sex crime, you are facing serious criminal penalties. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Moffitt Law to book a review of your case today.

FAQ

Why do statutes change for those younger than 16-year-olds?

Statutes change at 16 years old because the age of consent for sexual activity is 16 in Georgia. People that are 16 and younger are not legally able to provide consent, and this is why the statute of limitations is longer for sex crimes where the alleged victim is less than 16 years old.

What are the penalties for sex crimes in Georgia?

The penalties for sex crimes in Georgia can vary from 1 to 25 years, or longer depending on the circumstances. Misdemeanors such as public indecency could result in up to 1 year in jail if convicted. Crimes such as aggravated child molestation could result in a 25-year sentence if convicted.

Are there defenses to sex crimes?

In many cases, yes. An attorney will be able to evaluate your options and advise you about the best way to proceed.

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