New Jersey Criminal Statute of Limitations

Below is a summary of the statute of limitation periods for criminal cases in New Jersey. Statutes of limitations set forth the time period within which the state must commence a case for a crime. If the state tries to bring an action against someone after the applicable time period has passed, the person charged can have the case dismissed. In general, violent crimes have a longer statute of limitations, and with some crimes there is no statute of limitations. In certain instances, the statute of limitations may be tolled, or suspended, which grants the state additional time to commence a legal action.

N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:1-6

Criminal Statute of Limitations for Specific Crimes

No statute of limitations: murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, terrorism, widespread injury or damage

Bribery of government official, official misconduct, other related offenses: 7 years

Other indictable offenses (felonies): 5 years

Disorderly offense or petty disorderly offense: 1 year

Criminal sexual contact or endangering welfare of child with victim under 18: within 5 years after victim turns 18 or 2 years of discovery of offense by victim, whichever is later

If DNA testing or fingerprint analysis used to identify perpetrator: statute of limitations does not start to run until state has evidence

Tolling Provisions

The statute of limitations does not run:

  • when a prosecution against the accused for the same conduct is pending in the state
  • when the person is fleeing from justice

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