In Canada, there is no statute of limitation for nearly all Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges. This means that there is no limitation period for a sexual assault allegation.
Summary Conviction vs. Indictable Offence
A summary conviction offence is generally considered less serious. For a summary offence, police have up to 12 months to lay charges. This means if the offence is straight summary, the police cannot lay a charge after 12 months. Since most criminal charges are hybrid offences, this strict limitation period is rarely a hinderance to the police laying a charge. A hybrid offence allows the Crown to elect to proceed by indictment or summary election.
For indictable offences, there is no limitation period. Indictable offences can be straight indictable offences which are considered more serious, or when the Crown on a hybrid offence elects to proceed by indictment.
Limitation Period for Sexual Assault Offences
Since the Crown is allowed to proceed by indictment on a sexual assault charge, this charge can be laid at any time. For example, our office was recently retained on a Toronto sexual assault charge from 1992. Since the Crown is allowed to proceed by indictment, the Crown is allowed to continue the prosecution even though the charge was laid nearly 30 years after the offence date.
Hiring a Toronto Sexual Assault lawyer
Your first step should be to speak to an experienced sexual assault lawyer to discuss your case, your options, and how to proceed. If you have been charged with a sexual assault, you should call the experienced Toronto sexual assault lawyers at Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh at 416-613-0416 to schedule a consultation about your case.