How Long do You Have to Press Charges for Assault?

Often survivors want to know if they can press charges in cases of intimate partner and sexual violence.  It is important to know that you have rights regarding the criminal justice system and whether or not you would like to pursue a case against an abuser (see What to Expect in Court).  There are two avenues to consider – criminal or civil.  In both types of cases, there are statutes of limitations – a limited amount of time for you to press charges or file a claim.

Criminal Charges

Type of Claim Time Limit Statutory Code
Felony sexual offense or misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary None Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-106
Other misdemeanor sex offense None Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-117

Civil Claims

Type of Claim Time Limit Statutory Code
Civil Claim 3 years Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-101
Assault, Libel or Slander 1 year Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-105
Battery 3 years Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-101
Civil child sexual abuse 7 years after the age of majority (18 years old) Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-117

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