There is never a deadline when it comes to reporting an alleged criminal offense to the police. This means that at any point a person could report an alleged assault to law enforcement. There is, however, a deadline on when the police can act on these reports. If the statute of limitations on an assault has expired, the prosecution has no ability to pursue criminal charges. This is true no matter if the alleged assault occurred or not.
For most people, the possibility of an assault charge following an incident could remain for years into the future. These charges could come in the minutes following an incident, or a report could be made months later. In either of these situations, it is vital that you seek out legal counsel to protect your freedom.
An assault conviction could derail your future and even lead to time behind bars. The right assault charges lawyer in Minneapolis could push back against these allegations no matter when they are made. Contact the attorneys of Gerald Miller to get started on building your defense.
When Assault Allegations Are Typically Filed in Minneapolis
Assault charges come in many different forms. The specific nature of each assault charge can play a part in determining how quickly a complaining witness might report it to the police. If you’re wondering can someone file assault charges after the fact, your actually asking what is the statute of limitations on assault. You want to know how long, after the act is allegedly committed, someone has to file assault charges.
Many complaining witnesses report an alleged assault immediately after it occurred. In fact, it is not uncommon for the police to be summoned to the scene of an assault while all of the parties are still present.
Other cases might not be reported right away. Some individuals are in a state of shock after a violent encounter and might not be prepared to speak to the police right away. Others might claim to fear retribution. It is particularly common for allegations of domestic assault to occur well after the assault was alleged to have occurred. If you’re interested if someone can someone file assault charges after the fact, the short answer is yes – they have until the statute of limitations runs out and do not have to immediately report it.
Statute of Limitations on Minnesota Assault Charges
While the police will make a report of an assault allegation at any point, the law cuts off the prosecution’s ability to act on that report following a set period of time. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. The prosecutor must pursue an assault case before the statute of limitations expires or forever lose the opportunity to bring those charges against the accused.
If you’re asking can someone file assault charges after the fact, the statute of limitations varies from one criminal act to another. Certain serious offenses—including murder and kidnapping—do not have a statute of limitations. In other words, the prosecution does not face a deadline to pursue these charges. For the vast majority of criminal acts under Minnesota law, there is some type of statute of limitations. The time limit available varies from as short as three years to as long as 9 years for certain sex trafficking crimes.
While there are different types of assault charges under state law, they each face the same statutory period. Whether you are charged with felony or misdemeanor assault, the state only has three years to pursue those charges against.
The statute of limitations on an assault charge begins to expire the day the assault allegedly occurred. In most cases, once this time limit begins to expire it will not stop until the end of the three-year window. However, there are some factors that will toll—or pause—the statute of limitations in an assault case. Specifically, the state can request the statute of limitations to be paused if they can show a person left the boundaries of the state in an effort to avoid prosecution. It is rare that the state will attempt to toll the statute of limitations, and your attorney could fight back against this effort if it is in bad faith.
Discuss Your Case With an Assault Charges Lawyer of Gerald Miller, P.A.
You have the right to a strong defense no matter when the allegations of assault were made against you. The attorneys of Gerald Miller will carefully review your case for potential defenses, including the possibility that the statute of limitations has expired. If the state fails to bring charges against you in a timely manner, our attorneys will work tirelessly to have the case dismissed. To get started, call today to schedule your free consultation.