What is the Statute of Limitations for Civil Sexual Abuse Cases?

Written by: Virginia Beach Injury Law

You Have a Limited Time to File Your Case

It is common for sexual abuse cases to have both a criminal trial and a civil case. It is important to know the statutes of limitations that dictate how long you have to file a civil lawsuit and criminal charges.

Virgnia passed new legislation in 2020 that can complicate when a civil sexual abusse case can be filed. It takes an experienced attorney familiar with these changes to ensure success. Contact us today for a free consultation to determine when you should file your case.

How Long Do I Have to File My Civil Sexual Abuse Case?

Section 8.01-243.D of Virginia law lays out the statute of limitations for filing civil sexual abuse cases. As a general rule, adults over the age of 18 at the time of sexual assault have ten years to file their personal injury claim. 

The statute of limitations for minors is different. If sexual abuse is committed against a minor, that minor has 20 years to file their personal injury claim. This allows time for the child to grow up and become aware of and address the abuse.

Are There Factors That Increase or Decrease the Statute of Limitations?

There are a few things that can increase or decrease the statute of limitations for a civil sexual abuse case. Noteably, if you were sexually assaulted while incapacitated, you have 20 years to file your personal injury claim. In addition, if you were sexually abused by a person in authority, you have 15 years to file a civil sexual abuse case. 

There are also different rules for sexual abuse that occured before July 1, 2020 when the new laws went into effect. For cases involving adult sexual abuse that happened before that date, you only had two years to file your case. This may be different for minors depending on the circumstances.

What is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Statutes of Limitations?

There are big differences between civil and criminal statutes of limitations. Find Law reports the statutes of limitations for crimes in Virgnia. Most sexual crimes are felonies, and there is no statute of limitations on felonies in the state of Virginia. However, sexual battery is a misdemeanor for which charges must be filed within one year. All sexual crimes against minors are felonies.

This means that you can almost always file criminal charges of sexual abuse to ensure justice for your accuser. However, if the time has expired for filing a civil abuse case you will not receive any damages.

File Your Civil Sexual Abuse Case On Time With Virginia Beach Injury Law

If you’re not sure if the statute of limitations is up on your sexual abuse case, we’re here to help. Our experienced attorneys know the ins and outs of sexual abuse civil and criminal laws to guide you. If the clock hasn’t run out, our staff can determine if we are able to take your case.
Contacting us today costs nothing. We are here to be part of your support system during this difficult time. Call us at (757) 802-4662 to schedule your free consultation.

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