STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION
Senator† NICHOLAS J. SACCO
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)
Senator† PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
†††† Increases statute of limitations for prosecution of vehicular homicide.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning the statute of limitations for vehicular homicide 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.†† (1)†††† 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.†
†††† (2)†† A prosecution for any offense set forth in 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) 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 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)†† (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2007, c.131);
†††† (6)†† A prosecution for vehicular homicide pursuant to N.J.S.2C:11-5 must be commenced within 10 years after the commission of the offense.†
†††† 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] a civil action shall not be brought pursuant to this code more than five years after [such] the action accrues.
(cf:† P.L.2007, c.131, s.1)
†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately and shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after the effective date of this act. A prosecution for an offense committed prior to the effective date of P.L.†† ††, c.††† ††(pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be governed by the five-year statute of limitations as it was set forth in N.J.S.2C:1-6 prior to the effective date of P.L.†††† , c.††††† (pending before the Legislature as this bill).†
†††† This bill increases the statute of limitations for vehicular homicide.
†††† Under current law, vehicular homicide is a crime of the first degree if the defendant was driving while intoxicated on school property; otherwise it is a crime of the second degree.† Generally, the prosecution of a first, second, third, and fourth degree crime is to be commenced within five years after the crime is committed. Therefore, prosecution for first and second degree vehicular homicide is to be commenced within five years.†
†††† This bill would increase the current five-year limitation on prosecuting vehicular homicide to 10 years.†
†††† Under the bill, this 10-year statute of limitations would only apply to vehicular homicide offenses committed after the billís effective date.†