Bill Cosby probably believed he had nothing to worry about. Allegations of sexual assault against him were based on events that took place decades ago. Yet, Cosby was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, and is now serving a sentence of between up to 10 years in a Pennsylvania state prison.
The high-profile Cosby case prompted many states – including California – to re-examine the statute of limitations on decades old sex crimes cases. In many cases, sexual assault victims do not come forward for many years after the alleged incident. California recognized this and passed a law to eliminate the statute of limitations on many sexual assault crimes and extend the statute of limitations on others.
Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes
The statute of limitations is essentially a time limit that the prosecution has to bring charges against you after the alleged incident took place. The prosecution cannot lawfully charge you with a crime after the statute of limitations has expired.
However, not all crimes have a statute of limitations. In 2016, the governor of California signed Senate Bill 813 into law. This law eliminated the statute of limitations for the crimes of rape, sodomy and several other crimes for which the punishment is either death or a life sentence. For crimes in which the victim was a minor at the time, the statute of limitations was extended until the victim’s 40th birthday.
What Do I Do If I Am Charged with a Sexual Assault Crime from Years Ago?
Although you can be charged with a serious sex crime many years after the alleged incident occurred, it could be difficult for the prosecution to prove that you committed the offense. The reason that statutes of limitations exist is because evidence can be unreliable after several years. Physical evidence can be lost, destroyed or degraded to the point where it is no longer usable, and witnesses may no longer have clear memories of the events.
Our skilled sex crimes defense lawyers have been successfully defending clients facing sexual assault charges for more than 35 years. In cases where the alleged incident took place several years prior, our law firm has had success by attacking the credibility of the alleged victim and any witnesses as well as raising doubt that all elements of the crime required for a conviction are true.
Contact the Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are facing charges related to a sex crime, you should contact an experience sex crimes defense attorney right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled defense attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients facing sex crimes charges. Let our knowledgeable sex crimes lawyers help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Contact our law firm today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation regarding your case. We will get through this together.