Round Rock, TX asked in Criminal Law for Texas

Q: How long is the statute of limitations on a aggravated assault charge here in TX?

This charge is involving a minor who was 11 at the time and we were never given any notice of charges being pursued since it was an accident.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Most people don't understand that the Statute of Limitations doesn't control how long a case can be pending before trial. It only controls the time period that the government has to file formal charges after an alleged crime. If they wait too long to file charges then the court loses jurisdiction so prosecution is not possible. However, the clock on the limitations period STOPS TICKING when charges are filed. This means the prosecution can move forward as long as the grand jury returned an indictment for Aggravated Assault within the limitations period.

So, what is the Limitations Period for Agg Assault? Three years is the default for a felony, but section 12.03(d) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure says otherwise... so it's TWO YEARS unless 12.03(d) has been, ahem, re-interpreted by an appeals court. (This section would also apply to Agg. Perjury.)

HOWEVER.... When the alleged victim is only 11 years-old at the time of the incident, the grand jury can instead return an indictment for the offense of Injury to a Child, which has a limitations period of 10 years from the child's 18th birthday. See 12.01(6)(B) TxCCP.

And finally, if we are talking about Aggravated SEXUAL Assault of a Child, well there is no limitations at all for that. See 12.01(1)(B) TxCCP.

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