How long do you have to press charges against someone you caught keying your car?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2014

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How long do you have to press charges against someone you caught keying your car?

I caught my ex-boyfriend keying my car. We live together and I am moving but not for another 3 or so months when the apartment I applied for is ready.

Asked on September 30, 2014 under Criminal Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The crime you describe--this type of vandalism--is most likely a misdemeanor (a crime punishable by less than a year in prison). In your state, the statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is 2 years; so charges could be brought up to 2 years after the crime. Note that you could also sue him to recover the cost of repairing/repainting your car. (Pressing charges may get you justice, but it will not necessarily get you compensation; for compensation, you'd need to file your own lawsuit, including possibly one in small claims court, acting as your own attorney.)

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