When you get charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is important to know all of the defenses you have available. Depending on the circumstances of your case, one option may be to assert the statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations for your crime has expired, a Morristown criminal attorney may be able to help you avoid a conviction without going to trial—even if you committed the crime for which you are being prosecuted.
New Jersey’s statute of limitations is different for different types of crimes. As a result, determining whether the statute of limitations isn’t always a straightforward process. A Morristown criminal attorney can help, and regardless of the defenses you think you may have available, it is important that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations for Indictable Crimes
In New Jersey, felony-level offenses are referred to as indictable crimes. Under Section 2C:1-6(b)(1) of the New Jersey Revised Statutes, most indictable crimes have a five-year statute of limitations. This “limitations period” runs from the date the crime is committed, and it sets the deadline for the government to commence its prosecution of the defendant.
While most indictable crimes have a five-year statute of limitations, there are some exceptions. Certain crimes do not have any statute of limitations, as discussed below. Additionally, for some crimes, the statute of limitations is extended to seven years, and New Jersey law establishes special limitations periods for certain crimes committed against children:
- Criminal Sexual Conduct with Minors: The prosecution must commence its case within five years of the victim turning 18 or within two years of the victim discovering the crime, whichever is later.
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child: The prosecution must commence its case within five years of the victim turning 18 or within two years of the victim discovering the crime, whichever is later.
New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations for Disorderly Persons Offenses
Misdemeanor offenses are referred to as disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey. Under Section 2C:1-6(b)(2), disorderly persons offenses are subject to a one-year statute of limitations in most cases. This applies to both “ordinary” disorderly persons offenses (which carry up to six months of jail time) and petty disorderly persons offenses (which carry a jail term of up to 30 days).
Crimes with No Statute of Limitations in New Jersey
Certain serious crimes do not have a statute of limitations in New Jersey. If you are under investigation or facing prosecution for one of these crimes, the government can pursue charges regardless of how long it has been since the alleged crime was committed. The crimes that are not subject to a statute of limitations in New Jersey include:
- Causing or risking widespread injury or damage
- Sexual Assault
Contact Morristown Criminal Attorney Scott Gorman
If you are facing charges in New Jersey, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your defense. To arrange a free and confidential consultation with Morristown criminal attorney Scott Gorman, call 973-796-3800 or request an appointment online now.
Published in Categories: Criminal Defense