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HOw long do I have to press charges in a domestic violence case after the incident in the state of california

Bakersfield, CA |

My daughter was assualted last night about 10 pm. How long does she have to press charges. She has date stamped pictures and can get the police report.

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Attorney answers 3


The answer to your question depends on whether you are you referring to bringing a civil lawsuit against the person who committed the violence or if you are you referring to the person being arrested and prosecuted. If you are referring to bringing a personal injury claim against a private individual who committed the violence, then your statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of the incident. The term "press charges" is unclear and often misused. Only the government can file charges against someone. The victim of a crime, such as domestic violence, can request that criminal charges be initiated and the more persistent a true victim is, the more likely that the District Attorney’s Office will file charges.


Your daughter needs to find a local family law attorney for a consultation or go to her local courthouse and see if they have a Domestic Violence assistance center. She will need to file a request for a temporary domestic violence restraining order as soon as possible. These requests are done on an emergency basis, so if she waits too long, the emergency will be long past, and she'll have to explain why she needs the order weeks or months after the incident.

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She is certainly still well within any applicable statute of limitations. However, the sooner the police are contacted the better.

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