1. Prosecutions for sexual crimes against children, specifically rape or forcible sodomy, sodomy, lewd or indecent proposals or acts against children, involving minors in pornography pursuant to Section 886, 888, 1111, 1111.1, 1113, 1114, 1021.2, 1021.3, 1040.12a or 1123 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, child abuse pursuant to Section 843.5 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and child trafficking pursuant to Section 866 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall be commenced by the forty-fifth birthday of the alleged victim. Prosecutions for such crimes committed against victims eighteen (18) years of age or older shall be commenced within twelve (12) years after the discovery of the crime.
  2. However, prosecutions for the crimes listed in paragraph 1 of this subsection may be commenced at any time after the commission of the offense if:
  • physical evidence is collected and preserved that is capable of being tested to obtain a profile from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and
  • the identity of the offender is subsequently established through the use of a DNA profile using evidence listed in subparagraph a of this paragraph.

A prosecution under this exception must be commenced within three (3) years from the date on which the identity of the suspect is established by DNA testing.

How the Statute of Limitations Can Affect Your Pending Criminal Case

On the surface, that statute of limitations law seems fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, prosecutors may still try to overstep their authority.

At Berlin Defense, we are seeing cases where the accuser had already passed the statute of limitations when the law was changed in 2017 because they were 31 or older. Even though this should have prevented charges from being filed, overzealous district attorneys are attempting to apply the extension and proceed as if the statute of limitations runs out when the accuser turns 45.

Incorrect application of the statute of limitations violates the ex post facto clause.  This clause is in the U.S. Constitution and forbids the passing of any ex post facto laws that retroactively change the legal consequences of an action that occurred before a law was passed. Article I, Section 9 applies to federal laws, while Article 1, Section 10 applies to state laws.

The Supreme Court has established that any law “enacted after the expiration of a previously applicable limitations period violates the ex post facto clause when it is used to revive a previously time-barred prosecution.” Specifically, Stogner v. California found that California violated the ex post facto clause by prosecuting a defendant for child sexual abuse under a law that attempted to revive the passed statute of limitations.

If you are facing charges that you believe violate the constitutional protection against ex post facto laws, you can’t afford to take any chances. Your freedom and future are at stake, so you need an attorney who will aggressively work to protect your rights throughout every step of the legal process.

Have You Been Charged With a Sex Crime in the Tulsa, OK, Area?

If you have been charged with a sex crime in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call 918.384.0850 for your initial strategy session. We are proud to serve Tulsa and all surrounding areas.

Lee Berlin
Dedicated to defending clients accused of domestic violence, sex & violent crimes throughout eastern Oklahoma.