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MyraB, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 371
Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in criminal law and civil litigation from pre-trial practice to appeal.
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A friend was charged with theft by deception over 20 years

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A friend was charged with theft by deception over 20 years ago, His judge had his wife pass away and they told him he would get a new judge and be notified when he would need to return to court.He never got a letter to return but my question is there a statue of limitation on something like that? 20 years ago? thanks
Hello and thank you for your question.

If your friend was charged, such that he had an arraignment and was awaiting trial at the time the judge left, then your friend would likely be entitled to dismissal of the charge with prejudice based on the violation of his right to a speedy trial. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury. I can't imagine any scenario where 20 years would not be considered a violation of the right to a speedy trial. Once the charge is dismissed for a speedy trial violation, it can never be brought again.

The right to a speedy trial is separate and distinct from a statute of limitation. A statute of limitation governs the time within which a criminal charge can be brought. Because the charge against your friend had already been brought, the statute of limitation would not be an issue. In any event, the statute of limitation for theft by deception in New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4) is five years from the time the crime was committed.

Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.
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