Legal Question in Criminal Law in New Jersey

Statue of Limitations

When does the statue of limitations run out on a warrant for failure to appear for the charge of 3 degree theft of service?

Asked on 11/30/01, 6:49 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joseph Grassi Barry, Corrado, Grassi & Gibson, PC
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Re: Statue of Limitations

You are not going to like this, but never. The statute of limitations doesn't run on fugitives. The statute of limitations applies to cases where a charge has never been lodged. If you were identified, and charged but just failed to appeared for Court, those charges will be active indefinately.

This is not to say that the passage of time might not diminish the likelihood of successful prosecution. It is axiomatic that delay is always on the side of the unincarcerated defendant. Memories dim, witnesses die, the emotional sting of the victim wanes. But the charges do not go away in a situation such as yours. In order to counteract the advantage a fugitive has in diminishing provability, most jurisdictions have bail jumping charges, with stiff penalties, so that you can be penalized just as heavily for failing to appear as for the underlying offense.

Sometimes, a "Jimmy Valantine" defense will work. It sounds like you should speak to a lawyer.

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11/30/01, 10:08 am

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