Pursuant to 18 USC Section 3282, a federal prosecution for the possession, receipt or distribution of child pornography may not be commenced later than 5 years from the date that the offense occurred. However, in the case of a conspiracy, that 5 year limitation period does not begin until the (1) conspiracy ends by abandonment or it's object being achieved; (2) the last overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy by any co-conspirator; of (3) the defendant's withdrawal (as that term is defined legally) from the conspiracy.
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP
I defer to the Georgia attorney regarding a state charge. Federal charges are different probably five years from discover. A statute of limitations calculation is not simple math. It is rather a legal analysis based on specific facts and applications of specific laws. Consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the only way to obtain a possible answer.
Of course every answer is based on the question asked and requires a more complete context. This answer should not be relied upon to make a legal decision. Seek the advice of an experienced attorney before acting. www.waaltd.com
We get questions about statues of limitations all the time and they make me uncomfortable. I always get the feeling that there is important information that we are not being told and that the question is being asked as part of a DIY defense plan, so that any answer we give could be extremely dangerous. So here are my answers to all statue of limitations questions:
1. If you want to know whether it is too late report a crime to the authorities the answer is always no. Go ahead and report it. Let them worry about whether it can prosecuted.
2. If you have, or may have, committed a crime and want to know if it is safe to come out, the answer again is always no. There are too many unforeseeable possibilities and statutes of limitations are too hard to calculate in the absence of a specific offense already charged.
As a former state and federal prosecutor in Georgia, I generally agree with my colleagues, but would strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced criminal lawyer about all the facts and your rights and options, if necessary. Good luck.