Fresh Complaint Law and Legal Definition

A fresh complaint is a complaint made voluntarily and reasonably promptly after a sexual assault or other crime. A fresh complaint may be made to a police officer, friend, family members, or to any other person whom the victim trusts. Reporting the crime to law enforcement officials on a timely basis helps to increase the credibility of the victim's allegation of the crime's occurrence. On the other hand, the lack of a fresh complaint can be used by the defense to attack the victim's credibility.

A fresh complaint must be reported with reasonable promptness in order to be relevant. However, the time period within which the fresh complaint should be made in order to be relevant varies on a case by case basis.