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Pittsburgh Sex Crimes Lawyer

Statute of Limitations

When it comes to sex crimes in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is a moving target. Every few years some politician up for re-election proposes longer limitations and stiffer penalties. Particularly in the wake of the sex abuse scandal at Penn State, the push has been on to increase the time permitted to file such charges. Defense attorney Blaine Jones urges anyone facing allegations of a sex crime to contact an experienced law firm.

In many of these cases, the most incriminating evidence produced by the state at trial are the words and statements a defendant made during an investigation or after arrest. Often times, there isn't even enough evidence to charge a defendant unless he talks to authorities. Investigators understand this and they know defendants are often embarrassed or ashamed and will attempt to talk their way out of criminal charges. This is rarely, if ever, the case. Nor is a defendant likely to be saved by the statute of limitations. Please exercise your right to remain silent and contact and experienced criminal defense attorney.

Statute of Limitations and Sex Crimes

  1. Cases involving child abuse can be brought until the victim's 50th birthday.
  2. In 2002, the statute of limitations was extended until 12 years after a victim's 18th birthday.
  3. Prior to 2002, the statute of limitations was 5 years after a victim's 18th birthday.
  4. Rape and other serious sex crimes against adults can be prosecuted for a period of 12 years. Sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse also fall under the 12-year limitation.
  5. Other crimes carry a statute of limitations of 2 to 5 years.
  6. DNA Evidence: When DNA evidence is obtained that identifies a previously unidentified suspect, the statute of limitations resets or an additional year is provided – whichever is longer.
  7. In some cases the clock can be stopped, including when a defendant has no known residence or place of employment in the state or is already being prosecuted for the same crime.

The statute of limitations for civil suits is different. At the beginning 2012, it was until a victim turned 30, though lawmakers were busy trying to extend that following the Penn State scandal. Laws have changed so frequently, especially as it relates to sex crimes involving minors, that it requires an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney to determine what law should be applied to a particular case. Applicable law may depend on the age of the victim at the time of the alleged crime, when the alleged crime took place, and what law was in place when the incident is alleged to have occurred.

Blaine Jones Law, LLC - Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 500 Grant Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219. View Map
Phone: (412) 475-0062