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What is the time frame to press charges on someone, either Misdemenor or Felony?

Atlanta, GA |

Whether it's a Misdemenor or a Felony, what is the time frame in Georgia to press charges against someone, and when does it expire so that you can no longer press charges? 90 Days until the Investigators close it? Or no?

And if it's a sex-related misdemenor/felony with a minor, would it still be applicable if she turns 18, meaning would her parents still be able to press charges or no? Or whats the time frame with that?

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Attorney answers 4


It is the District Attorney who files charges. Private citizens, or police, file complaints which the DA reviews and then decides to proceed.


In Georgia, a private citizen can seek a misdemeanor warrant by applying with the magistrate judge. The state has to file charges within 2 years of the offense or it is barred by the statute of limitations. For a felony, only the District Attorney can bring formal charges and the statute of limitations can be 4, 7 or 15 years for felonies depending upon the type, and no statute of limitations for murder or rape if based upon DNA.


The statute of limitations for misdemeanors in Ga is two years as measured from the date of the incident. For felonies, it is typically 7 years. There are exceptions. For sex offenses against a child the statute is 7 years from the date the child turns 16 or from the date the offense is known to the authorities. The statute can also be tolled if the accused leaves the state or affirmatively acts to conceal the crime. If you tell me the specifics of your concern, I can more accurately address your question.


Misdemeanor is 2 years. Felony is 4, 8 and 15 years depending on the type of crime. Also the time for the running of the statute of limitations is from the date the crime becomes know and as to who committed it and in special felony charges from specific age of the victim as in child molestation. Felonies are presented to the County Grand Jury by the District Attorney.

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