Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Eliminates statute of limitations for kidnapping and increases statute of limitations for other serious crimes to 10 years.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the statute of limitations and amending N.J.S.2C:1-6 .
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.2C:1-6 is amended to read as follows:
2C:1-6. Time Limitations. a. A prosecution for any offense set forth in N.J.S.2C:11-3, N.J.S.2C:11-4 [or], N.J.S.2C:14-2 or N.J.S.2C:13-1 may be commenced at any time.
b. Except as otherwise provided in this section, prosecutions for other offenses are subject to the following periods of limitations:
(1) A prosecution for a crime must be commenced within five years after it is committed;
(2) A prosecution for a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense must be commenced within one year after it is committed;
(3) A prosecution for any offense set forth in N.J.S.2C:27-2, N.J.S.2C:27-4, N.J.S.2C:27-6, N.J.S.2C:27-7, N.J.S.2C:29-4, N.J.S.2C:30-2, N.J.S.2C:30-3, or any attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense, must be commenced within seven years after the commission of the offense;
(4) A prosecution for an offense set forth in N.J.S.2C:14-3 or N.J.S.2C:24-4, when the victim at the time of the offense is below the age of 18 years, must be commenced within [five] ten years of the victim's attaining the age of 18 or within two years of the discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later;
(5) A prosecution for any offense set forth in [paragraph (2) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:17-2,] section 9 of P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-9), section 20 of P.L.1989, c.34 (C.13:1E-48.20), section 19 of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-19), section 10 of P.L.1984, c.173 (C.34:5A-41), or section 10 of P.L.1977, c.74 (C.58:10A-10) must be commenced within 10 years after the date of discovery of the offense by a local law enforcement agency, a county prosecutor, or the Department of Environmental Protection either directly by any of those entities or indirectly by notice given to any of those entities;
(6) A prosecution for any offense set forth in subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:12-1, N.J.S.2C:15-1, P.L.1993, c.221, s.1 (C.2C:15-2), N.J.S.2C:17-1, N.J.S.2C:17-2, N.J.S.2C:18-2, N.J.S.2C:20-5, N.J.S.2C:24-4, N.J.S.2C:29-8, N.J.S.2C:39-4 or section 1 of P.L.1983, c.229 (C.2C:39-14) must be commenced within 10 years after it is committed.
c. An offense is committed either when every element occurs or, if a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing course of conduct plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct or the defendant's complicity therein is terminated. Time starts to run on the day after the offense is committed.
d. A prosecution is commenced for a crime when an indictment is found and for a nonindictable offense when a warrant or other process is issued, provided that such warrant or process is executed without unreasonable delay. Nothing contained in this section, however, shall be deemed to prohibit the downgrading of an indictable offense to a nonindictable offense at any time if the indictable offense was filed within the statute of limitations applicable to indictable offenses.
e. The period of limitation does not run during any time when a prosecution against the accused for the same conduct is pending in this State.
f. The limitations in this section shall not apply to any person fleeing from justice.
g. Except as otherwise provided in this code, no civil action shall be brought pursuant to this code more than five years after such action accrues.
(cf: P.L.1997, c.325, s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be applicable to all offenses not yet barred from prosecution under the statute of limitations as of the effective date.
N.J.S.A.2C:1-6 sets forth the statute of limitations for prosecutions of various crimes. Under 2C:1-6, there is no statute of limitations for prosecutions for murder, manslaughter or sexual assault. Prosecutions for other crimes must be commenced within five years after the crimes are committed, with the following exceptions:
· Prosecutions for bribery, official misconduct, and related crime (within seven years after the commission of the offense);
· Prosecutions for criminal sexual contact or endangering the welfare of children when the victim at the time of the offense was under age 18 (within five years of the victim reaching 18 or within two years of the discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later); and
· Prosecutions for certain environmental crimes (within 10 years after the discovery of the offense by law enforcement or the Department of Environmental Protection).
Under this bill, the statute of limitations on prosecutions for the following crimes would be increased from the current five years to 10 years: aggravated assault (N.J.S.A.2C:12-1b.); robbery (2C:15-1); carjacking (2C:15-2); arson (2C:17-1); causing or risking widespread injury or damage (2C:17-2); burglary (2C:18-2); theft by extortion (2C:20-5); endangering the welfare of a child (2C:24-4); corrupting or influencing a jury (2C:29-8); possession of weapons for unlawful purposes (2C:39-4), and weapons training for illegal activities (2C:39-14).
In addition, the bill also increases the statute of limitations for prosecutions for criminal sexual contact or endangering the welfare of a child when the victim was under age 18. This bill would authorize such prosecutions up to 10 years after the victim reaches age 18 or within two years of discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later.