New Jersey Statute of Limitations is an Excellent Defense if Available in a Criminal Prosecution

New Jersey Statute of Limitations is a powerful defense tool available to a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer in combating a criminal charge.

Under New Jersey statute of limitations law, five categories determine the time period in which a criminal prosecution must commence.

The first category consists of murder, aggravated manslaugther, manslaughter, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault.

There is no time limitation for these offenses.

Hence, prosecutions - in Middlesex County, New Jersey, Let's just say - may be commenced at any time for these offenses.

The second category consists of certain criminal prosecutions primarily involving conduct by public officials and employees.

These must be commenced within seven years after the commission of the offense.

The offenses for which the seven year limitation applies are: bribery in official and political matters, compensation for past official behavior, gifts to public servants, compensation of a public servant for assisting private interests in relation to matters before him and official misconduct.

The seven year statute of limitation also applies to any attempts or conspiracies to commit these offenses.

The fourth category involves all other crimes, and prosecution in this category must be commenced within five years.

The fifth category consists of disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses.

These prosecutions must commence within one year after the commission of the offense.

Prosecution is commenced when an indictment - for first, second third or fourth degree offenses - is returned or for non indictable charges - disorderly or petty disorderly offenses - when a warrant or summons is issued.

Generally, the time period begins to run one day after the offense is committed.

An offense is committed when every element of the offense occurs.

This defense does not apply to fugitives.

If you have any questions for a New Jersey criminal defense attorney about a New Jersey statute of limitations question, please do not hesitate to contact us.