The Statute of Limitations

The criminal justice system in this country exists to hold people accountable for actions that they have taken which have harmed others or the greater public good. But one of the important advantages of the legal process in this nation is that it has measures in place to protect the rights of the accused and to defend against wrongful convictions. The statute of limitations, one such protection, puts a limit on how long a person has to file a claim for a crime.

If you have been accused of a crime that occurred many years ago, the statute of limitations may prevent your prosecution. Because there may be some flexibility in terms of the legal interpretation of the date at which the clock began running, it is important that you have a skilled and experienced attorney who can argue on your behalf for a favorable decision on this matter. Contact Massachusetts sex crimes defense lawyer, James Powderly, at 508-343-0676 today for more information on your legal rights and options.

Statute of Limitations for Some Sex Crimes

The statute of limitations is often a matter of concern and contention in sex crimes cases. Psychological trauma and fears can cause a person’s memory of events to become distorted and may make an individual reluctant to pursue criminal charges. The following are some of the statutes of limitations associated with various sex crimes in Massachusetts:

  • Rape of a child/assault on a child under 16 with intent to commit rape – no limit
  • Child sexual abuse – 27 years (commencing from the 16th birthday if a victim was not yet 16)
  • Rape – 15 years
  • Assault with intent to commit rape – 15 years
  • Incest – 10 years from the commission of the offense
  • Other sex crimes – 6 years (if under 16, from the time of the 16th birthday or reporting to the authorities)

Contact Us

Being convicted of a sex crime can tear your life apart. To avoid a wrongful conviction, contact Massachusetts sex crimes defense lawyer James Powderly at 508-343-0676.


Interview with a Former DUI Client