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How Long After A Crime Can Charges Be Filed In Eastern North Carolina?

  • By James Cummings
  • Feb 18, 2015

Nearly every important life event is tied to a timeline. For instance, you are not allowed to drive until you are 16, and the first time you are eligible to vote is at age 18. Having known deadlines helps you keep on track, and ensure you don’t miss important events. In the law, different types of cases have different deadlines. If a party fails to act by a certain time, they are prevented from ever doing so. A perfect example of this rule is found in personal injury cases, where the injured party must file a case for damages within a certain amount of time after the accident, or they are forever barred from bring suit. Criminal law is no different, in some instances.

So why is it that several women are now able to bring charges against a popular actor, years after the alleged act? In the case of Bill Cosby many people are asking themselves that very question. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for certain criminal cases are as follows:  

  • Two years for misdemeanors. 
  • No time limitation for felony cases.

In cases like Cosby’s, as with all criminal cases, the biggest concern is the possible range of punishment. For first time offenders, the punishment is typically less severe than for repeat offenders. This is true in most areas of criminal law, from traffic offenses to assault. Additionally, punishment for sex crimes may vary depending on the parties. For example, if a person in a position of authority is involved, punishment can be greater than in cases where the parties are considered on a level playing field. The age of the persons involved also plays a factor, as does the existence of any criminal record. To maintain your freedom and learn your rights, call an experienced criminal defense attorney.

For more information about what to do when you’ve been charged with a crime, call an eastern North Carolina criminal defense lawyer for answers. We explain your options and help you make decisions that fit your circumstances.

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