Criminal Statutes of Limitations
Georgia

Last Updated: December 2017
Sexual Assault (by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority) Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

The statute of limitations for this crime is as follows:

  1. Prosecution for sexual assault must commence within four years after the offense; or
  2. For sexual assault committed against victims who are under 18 at the time the offense is committed, prosecution must commence within seven years after commission of the crime; or
  3. If the victim is at least 14 and less than 16, and the offender is 18 or younger and no more than four years older than the victim, then prosecution must commence within two years of the crime.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-5.1.
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1.





Rape Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

The statute of limitations for this offense is as follows:

  1. When the rape is forcible, prosecution must be commenced within 15 years after commission of the offense; or
  2. If the rape is not forcible, then prosecution must be commenced within seven years of the offense; or
  3. If the victim is under 16 on the date of commission of the offense and the offense was committed on or after July 1, 1992 but before June 30, 2012, then the period does not run until the victim reaches the age of 16 or the violation is reported to law enforcement; or
  4. If the victim is under 16 on the date of the commission of the offense, then prosecution may be commenced at any time for offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2012.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-1
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1 and Ga. Code § 17-3-2.1.





Sodomy, aggravated sodomy Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

  1. For aggravated sodomy, which is sodomy with force and against the will of victim, or sodomy with a person under 10, prosecution must commence within seven years after the commission of the crime; or
  2. For sodomy other than aggravated sodomy and where the victim is under 18, prosecution must commence within seven years after the commission of the crime; or
  3. For any other sodomy that is illegal, prosecution must commence within four years after the commission of the crime; or
  4. If the victim is under 16 on the date of commission of the offense and the offense was committed on or after July 1, 1992 but before June 30, 2012, then the period does not run until the victim reaches the age of 16 or the violation is reported to law enforcement; or
  5. If the crime is aggravated sodomy and the victim is under 16 on the date of the commission of the offense, then prosecution may be commenced at any time for offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2012.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-2.
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1 and Ga. Code § 17-3-2.1.





Statutory rape (victim under age of 16 not a spouse of the offender) Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

  1. Prosecution must commence within seven years after the commission of the crime; or
  2. If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16, and the offender is 18 or younger and no more than 4 years older than the victim, then prosecution must commence within two years after commission of the crime; or
  3. If the offense was committed on or after July 1, 1992 but before June 30, 2012, then the period does not run until the victim reaches the age of 16 or the violation is reported to law enforcement.

Statutory citation(s):

    1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-3.
    2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1 and Ga. Code § 17-3-2.1.





Child molestation, aggravated child molestation Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

Child molestation is either (1) any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of any victim under 16 with the intent to arouse the offender or the victim, or (2) transmitting electronic image(s) of a person engaging in, inducing, or otherwise participating in any immoral or indecent act to a victim under 16, with the intent to arouse the offender or the victim.

  1. Prosecution must commence within seven years of the crime; or
  2. If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16, and the offender is 18 or younger and within four years of the victim, then prosecution must commence within two years of the crime.

Aggravated child molestation is child molestation that physically injures the child or involves sodomy.

  1. Prosecution must commence within seven years of the crime; or
  2. If the victim is between 14 and 16, the offender is 18 or younger and within four years of the victim, and the basis of the charge of aggravated child molestation is that the act involved sodomy, then the prosecution must commence within two years.

For both child molestation and aggravated child molestation: 

  1. If the offense was committed on or after July 1, 1992 but before June 30, 2012, then the period does not run until the victim reaches the age of 16 or the violation is reported to law enforcement; or
  2. Prosecution may be commenced at any time for offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2012.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-4.
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1 and Ga. Code § 17-3-2.1.





Incest Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

  1. Prosecution must commence within four years after commission of the crime; or
  2. Prosecution must commence within seven years of the crime, if the victim is under 18; or
  3. If the victim is under 16 on the date of commission of the offense and the offense was committed on or after July 1, 1992 but before June 30, 2012, then the period does not run until the victim reaches the age of 16 or the violation is reported to law enforcement; or
  4. If the victim is under 16 on the date of the commission of the offense, then prosecution may be commenced at any time for offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2012.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-22
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1 and Ga. Code § 17-3-2.1.





Sexual battery Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

The statute of limitations for this crime is as follows:

  1. For sexual battery on persons over 16, prosecution must commence within two years after commission of the crime if it is the offender’s first offense; or
  2. For sexual battery on persons over 16, prosecution must commence within four years of the crime, if the offender has a prior conviction for sexual battery; or
  3. For sexual battery committed against victims who are under 16 at the time the offense is committed, prosecution must commence within seven years after commission of the crime.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-22.1
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1.





Aggravated sexual battery Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

  1. Prosecution must commence within seven years after the commission of the crime.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-22.2.
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1.





Trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

The statute of limitations for this offense is as follows: 

  1. Prosecution must commence within four years of the commission of the crime; or
  2. If the victim is under 18 or has a developmental disability, then prosecution must commence within seven years of the crime; or
  3. If the victim is under 16 on the date of the commission of the offense, and the offense occurred on or after July 1, 2012, then prosecution may be commenced at any time.

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-5-46.
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1 and Ga. Code § 17-3-2.1





Enticing a child for indecent purposes Answer

What is the statute of limitations for this crime?

The statute of limitations for this crime is as follows:

  1. Prosecution must commence within seven years after the commission of the crime; or
  2. If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16, and the offender is 18 or younger and no more than four years older than the victim, prosecution must commence within two years of the crime; or
  3. If the victim is under 16 on the date of commission of the offense and the offense was committed on or after July 1, 1992 but before June 30, 2012, then the period does not run until the victim reaches the age of 16 or the violation is reported to law enforcement; or
  4. If the victim is under 16 on the date of the commission of the offense, then prosecution may be commenced at any time for offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2012 (unless the offender is no more than 18 years old, is no more than four years older than the victim, and the victim is at least 14 years old).

Statutory citation(s):

  1. Citation for the crime: Ga. Code § 16-6-5.
  2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Ga. Code § 17-3-1 and Ga. Code § 17-3-2.1.





Are there any exceptions to the statute of limitations laws? Answer
Exceptions
  • Ga. Code § 17-3-1 Limitation on prosecutions:
    • (d) For the following offenses, no statute of limitations when DNA evidence is used to establish the identity of the accused, provided that a sufficient portion of the physical evidence tested for DNA is preserved and available for testing by the accused:
      • Rape (§ 16-6-1)
      • Aggravated sodomy (§ 16-6-2)
      • Aggravated child molestation (§ 16-6-4)
      • Aggravated sexual battery (§ 16-6-22.2)





Anything else I should know? Answer
Anything else I should know?
  • Ga. Code § 17-3-2.2 Statute of limitations:
    • When the victim of an offense is 65 or older, the applicable period of limitations will not begin to run until the offense is reported to or discovered by a law enforcement agency, prosecuting attorney, or other governmental agency.  Unless the statute of limitations is longer than 15 years, prosecution shall not commence more than 15 years after commission of the crime.
  • Duke v. State, 681 S.E.2d 174, 177-78 (Ga. Ct. App. 2009)
    • Ex post facto clause does not prevent the State from extending statute of limitations for prosecutions not yet time barred when statute was enacted.
  • Wiggins v. State, 432 S.E.2d 113, 116 (Ga. Ct. App. 1993)
    • For statute of limitations purposes, the date of a sexual assault need not be proved with preciseness, but only that it occurred during the period of limitation.








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