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What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Child Sexual Abuse In North Carolina?

Statutes of Limitations are laws that dictate the timeframe within which a person or prosecutor can file a lawsuit after a crime is committed. Once the time limit has elapsed, the charge (lawsuit) can no longer be filed. The purpose of this time limit is to ensure that evidence remains intact, memories haven’t faded yet, and witnesses are still available to testify. It protects a person from defending ‘stale claims’ that have been neglected for some time. It is meant to encourage the aggrieved parties to pursue their claims with diligence.

Criminal Cases

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for most misdemeanors is two years, but for felonies, there is no time limit. Since rape and the vast majority of other sexual offenses-including indecent liberties with a minor, statutory rape, and statutory sex offense-are felonies, prosecutors do not have a time limit for pursuing these cases.

Civil Cases

The time-frame for filing a civil lawsuit usually ranges from 1 to 3 years in North Carolina, depending on the type of claim. For most claims including injury to person, the SOL is three years, and if a child is involved, the ‘countdown’ only starts when the child turns 18. Until late 2019, there has been no specific statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. Since the Senate Bill 199 has been enacted in the State of North Carolina, the time limit for child sexual abuse has been set at ten years from the time the child turns 18.

If you are charged with child sexual abuse or child molestation, call to get a free consultation with the attorneys at Roberts Law Group.

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