Q: Does the NJ statute of limitations clock start the day the crime was committed? What if it's not discovered by police?
I'm working on a research essay and I need some clarification around statute of limitations in NJ for criminal codes.
I see it clearly listed in my textbook and online that indictable crimes (felonies in NJ) typically have a 5 year statute and disorderly persons (misdemeanors in NJ) typically have a 1 year statute. I also see that the statute clock starts ticking when the crime was committed.
Maybe I'm complicating things here. But my questions is- what if the crime wasn't discovered until well after the day it was committed?
Let's use a petty theft as an example. Or any other disorderly persons offense. Hypothetically- If the crime occurred on 1/1/21, would the statue of limitations expire on 1/1/22? What if it wasn't discovered by police (if at all) until a few months after it was committed?
I see CA has some type of discovery rule but see nothing on NJ.
A: While you’re correct about the general 5 year and 1 year SOL for crimes and disorderly persons offenses, there are a number of exceptions, including for crimes with no time limit, cases involving sexual assault where the crime may not be discovered until a later date and crimes involving certain types of forensic evidence that may not be immediately available. NJSA 2C:1-6 is the statute on point.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.