The statute of limitations in New Jersey establishes the time in which the state must bring a case for a crime. If New Jersey prosecutors attempt to bring an action against an individual after the statute of limitations has passed, the case may be dismissed. Generally speaking, violent crimes are subject to a longer state of limitations. In some cases, the statute of limitations may be suspended or tolled. This allows the state to have more time to bring the case to trial.
Under N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:1-6:
• No statute of limitations: Murder, terrorism, manslaughter, widespread injury/damage, or sexual assault
• Seven-year statute of limitations: Official misconduct, bribery of a government official, and related offenses
• Five-year statute of limitations: Felonies (other than those described above)
• One-year statute of limitations: Petty/Disorderly offense
In cases involving the endangerment of the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact with the child (when victim is less than 18 years old), the statute of limitations is within five years of the date on which the victim is 18 years old or within two years of the offense discovery by the victim (later of the two). The statute of limitations doesn’t start until New Jersey has evidence if fingerprint analysis or DNA tests are used to identify a perpetrator of a crime. Tolling provisions may apply when the prosecution against an accused (for the same conduct) is pending in state court or when the individual is in flight from justice.
The New Jersey statute of limitations relating to crimes isn’t easy to understand. If you believe that the statute of limitations may have expired on a potential charge against you, call The Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Criminal Trial Attorney now to schedule an initial case evaluation.