The statute of limitation is typically defined as the time limit a state allows for the prosecution of a crime. Depending on the state, the severity of the crime, and any attempt to flee from the law, the statutes of limitations can vary. Once the time limit has passed, the state can no longer pursue prosecution for a criminal case. The reason these limitations exist is for the sake of preserving evidence and witness testimony and to ensure that these cases are resolved in a reasonable amount of time.
In the state of New Jersey, the statute of limitations for most felonies is typically five years. However, there are exceptions to this rule which can increase the time limit based on the severity of the crime. If you have recently been charged with a felony, reach out to a Bergen County criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Carl Spector for more information about your next steps.
What are the exceptions to the statute of limitations for a criminal case in New Jersey?
While the statute of limitations for most criminal cases in New Jersey is five years, certain exceptions are made depending on the nature of the crime. For example, when it comes to any case involving murder, manslaughter, or sexual assault, there is no time limit. Because of the severity of these types of felonies, New Jersey state law does not permit any statute of limitations on them in order to further discourage them. The consequences for these types of felonies can include hefty fines, as well as lengthy jail time with the possibility of life sentences.
Other exceptions are also made for crimes that the state of New Jersey considers far more severe compared to normal felony charges. These types of offenses include bribery in any official or political capacity, official misconduct, as well as any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes. When it comes to the statute of limitations for criminal offenses like these, the time limit is usually seven years.
Similar deviations from the standard five-year time limit for felonies are also made for criminal cases involving children. This can include any incident involving sexual misconduct or the endangerment of a minor. When it comes to these types of offenses, the statute of limitations can vary depending on the age of the victim or the discovery of the crime. Prosecution can be pursued either within five years of the victim turning 18 years old, or within two years of the discovery of the felony.
It should also be noted that the statute of limitations can be suspended if the accused is either fleeing from justice, or if they are awaiting prosecution of another crime for the same conduct. Regardless of the situation, strong legal counsel is paramount when dealing with a criminal prosecution.