Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations set forth the time period within which the state must commence a case for a crime. If the state tries to prosecute a person after the applicable time period the charge(s) may be dismissed. Some crimes have no statute of limitation. In other instances the statute of limitations can be tolled or delayed, giving the state additional time to present a case.

The statute of limitations laws can sometimes be difficult to understand. If you think the statute of limitations has expired on a charge against you contact a qualified New Jersey criminal defense attorney at LS&P Lawyers. We will sort through the facts of your case and determine if the statute of limitations has indeed expired. If it hasn’t we can provide you with an aggressive and diligent defense.

Statute of Limitations for Indictable Offenses:

Below is a general summary of the statute of limitations laws in New Jersey.

There is no statute of limitations for murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, or terrorism crimes.

There is a 7 year statute of limitations for a charge of bribery of a government official, official misconduct, and other related offenses.

Most other indictable felonies have a statute of limitation of 5 years.

For a crime of criminal sexual contact or endangering the welfare of a child (if the victim is under the age of 18) the statute of limitations is within 5 years from the date the victim turns 18 or 2 years of discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later.

Disorderly Person’s Offenses:

A disorderly person’s offense must be prosecuted within 1 year from the date in which the state commenced the action. The offense commences when a complaint or warrant charging the defendant is issued.

Motor Vehicle/Traffic Offenses:

Generally, a summons for a motor violation must be issued within 30 days from the date the violation occurred. However, some traffic violations have a longer statute of limitations. In other words, the State has a longer time period to issue the summons and commence the case. The following are a few common motor vehicle violations with a unique statute of limitation:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident - 1 year
  • DWI - 90 Days
  • Refusal to submit to a breath test - 90 days
  • Driving on a revoked/suspended driver’s license - 90 days

All of the above limitation periods prevent the state from prosecuting cases that are untimely.

The statute of limitations on any given offense will be tolled (delayed) if the defendant flees from apprehension.

We are Available for a Free Consultation

Make sure your rights are protected. Meet with an experienced defense attorney at LS&P Lawyers to discuss your case. If the state has commenced an action against you after the statute of limitations has expired we will put our years of experience to work for you to get the charges dismissed. Even if the statute of limitations has not expired we will provide you with an aggressive defense. Call us at (908) 451-2667 for a free consultation.