Residents in Florida certainly understand the importance of standing up for people who have been harmed by others. However, it is always important to remember that a person accused of harming another may actually be the person who was harmed. Not every accusation of a crime is accurate and not every defendant is guilty. These are basic tenets of the criminal justice system not only in Florida but across the United States.
Despite these realities, there are two separate bills making their way through the state legislature now that seem to forget that the laws should protect everyone. Both bills are seeking an elimination of the statutes of limitations currently in place regarding some sexual offenses. As reported by ABC Action News, a bill in the House is proposing that civil actions for sexual assault allegations no longer have a statute of limitations.
In the State Senate, SB170 is seeking the removal of any statutes of limitations for criminal allegations of sexual battery by people who were 18 or younger at the time. The current statute of limitations on these allegations runs anywhere between four years and eight years depending on the circumstances. The bill has passed the Criminal Justice Committee and will now move to the House for review there. It will allow people to raise sexual battery accusations at any time in their lives.
If you would like to learn more about how you can protect yourself against allegations of sexual battery or sexual assault, please feel free to visit the defendant’s rights page of our Florida sex offenses and criminal defense website.