How long can someone wait before they decide to press assault charges?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Grand Rapids, MI

Had an incident on December 26th, Police were called, but no one was arrested. Now someone is threatening to press assault charges. How long after the incident can you wait to press assault charges?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Ralph John Stephan Jr.

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It's not really surprising that charges have not been issued yet. Bear in mind that the courts and the prosecutor's office were closed some extra days for the holidays. Typically, criminal charges are brought sooner rather than later because the prosecutor wants to bring the case to trial (if necessary) while the incident is still fresh in everyone's memory. There is however no way to tell just how long you it may be before charges are brought, if ever.

    The previous attorney was correct, you need to contact a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

  2. Anthony John Colleluori

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A person technically has until the run of the statute of limitations runs out. In Michigan, depending on the kind of assault and who was assaulted, the Statute of Limitations is 10 years for a assault with intent to commit murder 6 years on other types of assaults. These statutes also extend if the victim was a child or if to identify the assaulter DNA results are needed etc.

    Without special circumstances the run of the mill assault statute of Limitations is 6 years.

    I think what you want to know is how long can a person take and still get the police to act. That is going to depend on the level and seriousness of the assault and why the person took so long to act. Domestic Violence cases get more time than most cases because police and prosecutors are aware that there are a number of reasons victims wait so long. Best thing is to consult a lawyer and try to bring this to a head privately and peacefully. There is no room for violence in a loving relationship, and there is no reason to be in a domestic relationship with someone if it is not about love.

    This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney... more
  3. Edward Jacob Sternisha


    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Colleluori. It's not really the Statute of Limitations that you are concerned with as much as is this thing going to pop up on you after a few more weeks or a month or two, right? Attorney Colleluori answered it very well. Even though the Statute of Limitations may allow charges to be brought for several years, the facts of the case will be a determining factor for the police and/or prosecutor. It is a good idea to discuss this with a Criminal Defense lawyer in the Grand Rapids area BEFORE you have any more discussions with the police. Do not answer any more questions they ask, have your attorney contact the police to find out the status of the case and if any charges may be pending. Exercise your right to remain silent.

    The comments listed here do not create an attorney-client relationship. The comments are for informational... more

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