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Time limit for charges for Common Assault

View profile for Rhian Williams
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There is currently a six-month time limit for a charge to be brought against someone for common assault. The BBC recently revealed that 13,000 cases in England and Wales have been dropped in the last 5 years, due to exceeding the time limit.

Currently, three quarters of all domestic abuse cases, including sexual assaults, are closed early without the perpetrator being charged with only 1.6% of rape allegations in England and Wales resulting in someone being charged.

Home secretary Priti Patel has backed calls to change the law, to give victims of domestic abuse more time to report a crime, as victims of domestic common assault are often reluctant to report incidents due to fear of repercussions from the perpetrator.

Requests have been made to extend the time limit to two years and a renewed push to ensure police and prosecutors are alive to incidents of coercive control, a form of domestic abuse. The change is expected to come as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which is currently making its way through parliament.

This simple and practical change would give domestic abuse victims more time to report assault and means stronger action to tackle violence with relationships.

If you or anyone you know is being subjected to domestic abuse, please contact the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department (DVAD) for expert advice as to what protective measures are available, either by clicking on the links, or by telephoning Johnson Astills on 0116 255 4855.

Alternatively, if you have been accused of an offense, Johnson Astills are experts in criminal law, and are able to assist 24 hours of the day whether at the police station or at Court. If you need advice or assistance from the criminal department at Johnson Astills , please contact us on 0116 255 4855.