Statute of Limitations to Charge a Domestic Violence Case

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Domestic violence includes abuse on a partner or other family member. There is a legal amount of time a victim has to file a lawsuit against someone for domestic violence. This period of time is called a statute of limitations.


The statue of limitations for domestic violence begins when the last act of violence occurs. Previously each act was treated as a single incident with its own statute of limitations. In 2007, in Pugliese vs. The Superior Court, domestic violence was deemed one act of violence occurring over the course of the relationship.


In domestic violence cases, the statute of limitations in federal cases generally ends three years after the last act of violence occurred. The statute of limitations varies by state, so it is advisable to check the laws in your state.

Read More: Is Domestic Violence a Felony?


Sometimes children under the age of 18 are victims of domestic violence. In these cases, the statue of limitations is extended for 10 years or until the child turns 25, whichever is longer.