The Connecticut statute of limitations for sexual abuse depends on the details of each case. Factors like the victim’s age, type of crime, and presence of DNA evidence will determine the window for a lawsuit against the defendant.
The statute of limitations for civil cases is determined based on the victim’s age and if the defendant has been convicted of criminal sexual assault.
In general, the criminal deadline to take legal action is:
- One year for misdemeanors
- Five years for most felonies
- No time limit for class A felonies and some other types of felonies
To learn exactly how long you have to take legal action, consult an experienced Connecticut sexual abuse lawyer. Injured CT treats all personal injury cases with urgency. Call us today to schedule a free case review.
Time Limitations for Legal Action to Recover Damages
Civil trials are brought by the survivor seeking compensation for damages. These cases address the harm inflicted on the individual, and the burden of proof is typically lower than in criminal trials, often based on a preponderance of evidence.
Even if an individual is acquitted in criminal court, they may still be held liable in civil court, providing survivors with a means to seek justice and restitution personally.
The civil statute of limitations usually allows the victim to seek compensation at any time after the incident if the defendant was convicted of criminal sexual assault, as per Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-577e.
According to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-577d, if the victim was under 21 years old at the time of the incident (sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation), they must file a lawsuit within 30 years after their 21st birthday.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault, a Connecticut personal injury lawyer will evaluate your options for taking legal action. By contacting a lawyer, you empower yourself with the information needed to make informed decisions.
For a free legal consultation, call (855)-285-3425
Sexual Crime Cases With a Time Limit
The state initiates criminal trials to address offenses against society as a whole. In a criminal court, the focus is on determining the guilt of the accused and, if found guilty, imposing penalties such as imprisonment, fines, or probation. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The deadline for taking legal action is usually 10 years for 4th-degree sexual assault if the victim is at least 21 years old and the crime is classified as a class A misdemeanor, as per Public Act No. 19-16.
Connecticut has a 20-year statute of limitations for specific felony sexual assault crimes when the victim is 21 years or older. However, this timeframe may not apply if the act or existing law dictates that there should be no statute of limitations.
Cases this applies to include:
- Sexual assault in a relationship
- 3rd-degree sexual assault for a class D felony
- 2nd and 3rd-degree sexual assault with a gun if the crimes are categorized as a class C felony
- 1st-degree aggravated and sexual assault when these crimes fall under a class B felony
Cases Involving Victims Between the Ages of 18 and 20
Connecticut extends the statute of limitations for cases involving victims between 18 and 20 years of age until they turn 51. This extension applies unless circumstances arise where there should be no statute of limitations.
Sexual Crime Cases With No Time Limit
In Connecticut, certain sexual crime cases have no statute of limitations, ensuring that justice can be pursued regardless of the elapsed time since the alleged offenses. By eliminating a time restriction, the legal system recognizes the lasting impact of such offenses on victims’ lives.
Class A Felonies
In Connecticut, felonies are classified into different classes. Class A felonies are typically reserved for the most serious offenses and carry severe penalties.
The following sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse crimes are considered class A felonies:
|1st-degree sexual assault||CGS § 53a-70||(a) Force or threat of force + victim < 16 |
(b) Victim < 13 + offender > 2 years older
|1st-degree aggravated sexual assault||CGS § 53a-70a||Victim < 16|
|Aggravated sexual assault of a minor||CGS § 53a-70c|
|Commercial sexual abuse of a minor||CGS § 53a-83b||Victim < 15|
|Trafficking in persons||CGS § 53a-192a|
|Employing minors in obscene performances||CGS § 53a-196a|
Cases Involving a Minor
Connecticut does not impose a time limit on any offenses involving sexual abuse, assault, or exploitation of minors. This also includes the risk of getting hurt during intimate contact if the victim is younger than 16.
Connecticut does not have a statute of limitations for reporting sexual assault or abuse of a child, as long as they are still under 18. Any incidents or suspected incidents can be reported directly to the Families Child Abuse and Neglect Careline and the Connecticut Department of Children.
Cases With Conclusive DNA Evidence
A deadline may also not apply to specific sexual assault crimes if the injured party notified a prosecutor or local authorities of the crime within five years. Also, the defendant’s identity must be proven through conclusive DNA evidence.
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Call a Connecticut Sexual Abuse Lawyer to Learn the Statute of Limitations that Applies to Your Case
If you or a loved one have been a victim of sexual abuse, you may have a limited time to take legal action. Consult a Connecticut sexual abuse lawyer from our team to determine the deadline for your case.
Injured CT always acts with urgency on behalf of clients. The sooner you contact us, the more time we will have to use the fresh evidence to strengthen your case. Call us today for a free consultation.