SENATE, No. 609

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2010 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JENNIFER BECK

District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)

Senator  THOMAS GOODWIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Baroni

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases statute of limitations for certain crimes involving political corruption from five years to seven years.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning the statute of limitations for certain crimes and amending N.J.S.2C:1-6 and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     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, N.J.S.2C:14-2 or sections 1 through 5 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-1 through C.2C:38-5) 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 section 97 of P.L.1999, c.440 (C.2C:21-34),N.J.S.2C:27-2, [N.J.S.2C:27-4, N.J.S.2C:27-6] N.J.S.2C:27-3, N.J.S.2C:27-5, [N.J.S.2C:27-7,] section 100 of P.L.1999, c.440 (C.2C:27-9), sections 5 and 6 of P.L.2003, c.255 (C.2C:27-10 and 2C:27-11), 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 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.

     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, except that when the prosecution is supported by physical evidence that identifies the actor by means of DNA testing or fingerprint analysis, time does not start to run until the State is in possession of both the physical evidence and the DNA or fingerprint evidence necessary to establish the identification of the actor by means of comparison to the physical evidence.

     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 offense at any time if the prosecution of the greater offense was commenced within the statute of limitations applicable to the greater offense.

     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.2002, c.26, s.7)

 

     2.  (New section)  A prosecution for a criminal offense proscribed by N.J.S.2C:27-4 or N.J.S.2C:27-6 committed prior to January 14, 2004 shall be governed by the seven year statute of limitations as it was set forth in N.J.S.2C:1-6 on the date of the enactment of P.L.2003, c. 255 which repealed  N.J.S.2C:27-4 and N.J.S.2C:27-6.

 

     3.  This act shall take effect immediately and section 2 shall expire on January 13, 2011.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Under the Criminal Code, the statute of limitations for crimes is generally five years.  However, the Code provides that several crimes have longer periods of limitation including certain crimes involving political corruption and misconduct in office which have a seven- year statute of limitations.  These crimes are:

·        N.J.S.A.2C:27-2, Bribery in Official and Political Matters;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:29-4, Compounding;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:30-2, Official Misconduct, and

·        N.J.S.A.2C:30-3, Speculating or Wagering on Official Action or Information.

     This bill would provide that the following crimes, which involve political corruption as well, would have also a seven-year (rather than a five-year) statute of limitations:

·        N.J.S.A.2C:21-34, Penalty for False Contract Payment Claims;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:27-3, Threats and Other Improper Influences in

      Official and Political Matters;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:27-5, Retaliation for Past Official Action;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:27-9, Unlawful Official Business Transaction Where      Interest is Involved;

·        N.J.S.A.2C:27-10, Acceptance or Receipt of Unlawful Benefit by Public Servant for Official Behavior; and

·        N.J.S.A.2C:27-11, Offer of Unlawful Benefit to Public Servant for Official Behavior.

     In addition, the bill makes technical changes to N.J.S.2C:1-6 to correct obsolete references.  N.J.S.2C:27-4 and N.J.S.2C:27-6 were repealed by P.L. 2003, c.255 and N.J.S.2C:27-7 was repealed by P.L.1999, c.440.