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How long can you wait until filing assault and battery charges in Virginia?

Rocky Mount, VA |

My fiance' became angry with an answer I gave her while driving and began to strike my face, head and, right side while I was driving the car. It continued all the way back to my home and as we got closer she began to try and pull the steering wheel out of my hands in an attempt to put us into a ditch. As an alternative to keep me from calling the police she said she was admitting herself to the Psych Center and I didn't hear from her for a few days thinking she did the right thing. Now after I finally got her out of my life (not pretty) I find she did not pursue counseling and wondered if it's to late to file assault charges? It's to late for us but, considering her 2 y/o granddaughter was in the car with us, have a feeling it's only a matter of time before it occurs again.

Date of attack: March 2012 and finally had the opportunity to sever the relationship June 2012.

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Attorney answers 2


Your question doesn't say how long ago this all took place. There is no deadline to file a police report, but the longer one waits, the more questions the police will have regarding the reasons for delay. It sounds like you have good answers to such questions so you may wish to proceed. I do not know what the statute of limitations in Virginia is for the types of charges that might be filed. You should consult with a local attorney to find out. Good luck.

I have been licensed to practice in the State of Oregon since 1990. I am not offering legal advice regarding your question, only general information regarding the law. You are not my client nor am I your attorney unless we sign a retainer agreement.


Assault and battery is a misdemeanor, which has a one year statute of limitations. However, in some jurisdictions, magistrates are hesitant to issue warrants to citizen complainants generally, and even moreso when there is a long delay in reporting like this. However, the time has not expired for you to be able to pursue this, so there is nothing that should stop you form going to the local magistrate to file a complaint.

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