I was afraid to report it at the beginning because I did something wrong to,
but I feel I must report it now, is it to late to go to the police now ?
Not in New York, if you are describing a "major crime" which is most likely a felony, the statute of limitations will not run for 5 years in most offenses (even longer in homicides and certain sexual offenses, offenses involving public servants, etc). You may still report to the police. Understand the police will ask why you waited to report, but that should not deter you from reporting. But if you believe you have criminal exposure, you should consider hiring an attorney before you report.
Whether the statute of limitations has run depends on the crime, but if it is a truly major crime, the statute probably has not yet run. However, depending on what the crime was, evidence may have been lost due to the passage of time. If your wrongdoing was tied to this "major" crime, you should talk with a lawyer. Even if it wasn't, talk to a lawyer to get advice on whether going to the police to report will expose you to criminal liability.
The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is 2 years and it's 5 years for most felonies.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
As a criminal defense attorney, I have defended crimes that were not reported for many years. Of course, it is never too late to report a crime, but the rest of the story may not be up to you. Sometimes, prosecutors will chose not to prosecute based on a number of factors. Amongst these is the reason for the delayed report, and the lack of available evidence to support the report. if you have a need to report the incident, you may well benefit from doing so. If that is the case, it is better for you to focus on doing what you need to do to recover from the trauma than to worry about what will happen to others once yo do so.
When I read your question it sounds like you might be thinking about the statute of limitations. This is always a matter of state law, so we would need to know what state the incident occurred in. You could get this answer from an attorney licensed in the state where the crime happened.
In answering this question, it is not intended that an attorney-client relationship is formed and the information is for general reference only. I am licensed in Michigan and Florida and offer no legal advice outside of those states.
People report crimes that happened years earlier all the time. The problem is that the statute of limitations might be running out from being prosecuted. Also keep in min the civil statute of limitations to sue or have someone sue you based on the facts of the case. Always keep in mind that the police will look at your motivation now to come forward as opposed when it happened long ago. Just because you bring forth the information now, does not prevent them from prosecuting you too. Call if you have any further questions. 800-665-2451
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