How Long Do I Have to File my Sexual Assault or Rape Case?

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How long do you have to file a sexual assault or rape case in Georgia? The answer is here…

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► How long do you have to file a sexual assault or rape case in Georgia? Well, it depends on what the facts are, and we’ll talk about several different possibilities. But in the interest of giving a fast answer at the beginning of the video, if you maybe give one answer, I would say it’s two years. Two years comes from the official code of Georgia annotated or OCGA 9-3-33. That’s 33. That’s the general statute of limitation for personal injury cases, and that is the category of case in which sexual assault and rape cases fit and that says two years.
► But there are exceptions. You may have heard of George’s Hidden Predator Act. Well, that’s codified at the very next section, OCG 9-3-33.1, and that’s a fairly recent act of the legislature. The Hidden Predator Act gives survivors of sexual assault or rape until the age of 23 years to file the case in most situations. So if the survivor was a minor at the time of the attack or was just under 23, most of the time they get until the age of 23 years to file the case and sometimes longer if someone had a psychological reason that they couldn’t process or weren’t aware of what had happened to them for much longer than that, then sometimes it can be extended even beyond age 23 under the Hidden Predator Act.
► There’s another provision at OCGA 9-3-99 that provides for a pause in the statute of limitations, which the law calls tolling. And that statute or that law allows for tolling are the pause and the running of the statute of limitations when there is or could be an associated criminal prosecution up to six years. So the way that might work is let’s pretend that the sexual assault or rape occurs on January 1st, 2023. Well, normally, the usual two-year statute of limitation would then run on January 1st, 2025, but if there was a criminal prosecution associated with that or there could have been, then the statute limitation doesn’t begin to run until that criminal prosecution is terminated or six years passed, whichever happens sooner. So let’s say there is a criminal prosecution and that lasts for three years. So if this happened on January 1st, 2023, the prosecution would conclude on January 1st, 2026, and then the two-year statute of limitations here would run. So the survivor would have until January 1st, 2028 to file the case.
► So the short answer, if you made me give a single answer, I’d say it’s the personal injury statute of two years, but there are several exceptions to that. One is the Hidden Predator Act, and then another is that tolling provision of 9-3-99. The rules are pretty loose in this area and open to some interpretation. If you have a sexual assault or rape case, it’s worth talking to a lawyer to figure out whether you can still bring it.

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