What is the Statute of Limitations for a Sex Offense in Texas?

Full Question:

Can a person be indicted on a sex crime committed in 1989 and its now 2010?
05/11/2010   |   Category: Civil Actions ยป Limitations   |   State: Texas   |   #22080

Answer:

A statute of limitations is a law which sets the maximum period which one can wait before filing a lawsuit, depending on the type of case or claim. The periods vary by state and by type of claim. Federal statutes set the limitations for federal lawsuits. If the lawsuit or claim is not filed before the statutory deadline, the right to sue or make a claim is lost forever. In some instances, a statute of limitations can be extended ("tolled") based on delay in discovery of the injury or fraud.

Some sexual offenses have no time limitation in Texas. Please see the following statute to determine applicability:

Art. 12.01. FELONIES. Except as provided in Article 12.03, felony
indictments may be presented within these limits, and not afterward:

(1) no limitation:

(A) murder and manslaughter;

(B) sexual assault under Section 22.011(a)(2), Penal Code, or
aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021(a)(1)(B), Penal Code;

(C) sexual assault, if during the investigation of the offense
biological matter is collected and subjected to forensic DNA testing and
the testing results show that the matter does not match the victim or any
other person whose identity is readily ascertained;

(D) continuous sexual abuse of young child or children under
Section 21.02, Penal Code;

(E) indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code; or

(F) an offense involving leaving the scene of an accident under
Section 550.021, Transportation Code, if the accident resulted in the
death of a person;

(2) ten years from the date of the commission of the offense:

(A) theft of any estate, real, personal or mixed, by an executor,
administrator, guardian or trustee, with intent to defraud any creditor,
heir, legatee, ward, distributee, beneficiary or settlor of a trust
interested in such estate;

(B) theft by a public servant of government property over which he
exercises control in his official capacity;

(C) forgery or the uttering, using or passing of forged instruments;

(D) injury to an elderly or disabled individual punishable as a
felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal Code;

(E) sexual assault, except as provided by Subdivision (1) or (5);
or

(F) arson;

(3) seven years from the date of the commission of the offense:

(A) misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial
institution;

(B) securing execution of document by deception;

(C) a violation under Sections 162.403(22)-(39), Tax Code;

(D) false statement to obtain property or credit under Section 32.32,
Penal Code;

(E) money laundering;

(F) credit card or debit card abuse under Section 32.31, Penal
Code; or

(G) fraudulent use or possession of identifying information under
Section 32.51, Penal Code;

(4) five years from the date of the commission of the offense:

(A) theft or robbery;

(B) except as provided by Subdivision (5), kidnapping or burglary;

(C) injury to an elderly or disabled individual that is not
punishable as a felony of the first degree under Section 22.04, Penal
Code;

(D) abandoning or endangering a child; or

(E) insurance fraud;

(5) if the investigation of the offense shows that the victim is
younger than 17 years of age at the time the offense is committed, 20
years from the 18th birthday of the victim of one of the following
offenses:

(A) sexual performance by a child under Section 43.25, Penal Code;

(B) aggravated kidnapping under Section 20.04(a)(4), Penal Code, if the
defendant committed the offense with the intent to violate or abuse the
victim sexually; or

(C) burglary under Section 30.02, Penal Code, if the offense is
punishable under Subsection (d) of that section and the defendant
committed the offense with the intent to commit an offense described by
Subdivision (1)(B) or (D) of this article or Paragraph (B) of this
subdivision;

(6) ten years from the 18th birthday of the victim of the
offense:

injury to a child under Section 22.04, Penal Code; or

(7) three years from the date of the commission of the offense:
all other felonies.