How long do you have to file criminal charges on someone?

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How long do you have to file criminal charges on someone?

About 12 days ago my now ex-fiance decided that it would be OK to punch me in the face. When he did, he broke my nose. At the time, I did not seek medical attention nor did I call the police. Is it too late to pursue pressing charges? And if so, am I still able to obtain a restraining order against him?

Asked on December 1, 2012 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Actually, the state files criminal charges not the victim. You will need to file a compalint and then the prosecutor will decide whether to file charges and go forward with the case.

As to any time limits, there is something called the "statute of limitations". This is the timeframe in which the prosecutor must file charges; typically it runs for several years (depending on the offense involved and the specific state in question). Consequently, since your assault occurred just days go, you can certainly still file a complaint and the prosecutor could still file charges.

As for the retraining order, the authorities can also help you with that.


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