Year and a Day Rule

Definition - What does Year and a Day Rule mean?

The year and a day rule is a common law principle that forms a guideline for homicide charges where a person who commits an assault cannot be held liable for the death of the victim if the victim dies over a year and a day from the assault. This law appeared because it would be difficult to say in all instances that a person's death was the result of a previous action that happened over a year ago; however, all courts have the ability to override this law any many do in certain circumstances.

Justipedia explains Year and a Day Rule

If a person dies more than a year after an assault where the death can actually be directly linked to the assault, such as if the victim went into a coma directly after the assault but did not die until two years later. In this instance, the perpetrator would be charged with murder or homicide even though time had passed. However, this link must be conclusive in nature for it to be upheld in law.

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