Criminal Statute of Limitations and the Effect of DNA Testing: The Supreme Court Will Speak

The Supreme Court announced today that it has granted certification to review the Appellate Division’s decision in State v. Thompson. The question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “When does the statute of limitations for a criminal offense begin to run under N.J.S.A. 2C:1-6(c) when DNA testing is used to identify the defendant?”

The Law Division denied defendant’s motion to dismiss, the basis for which was statute of limitations grounds. After a jury trial, defendant was convicted on certain counts of the multi-count indictment against him. He appealed to the Appellate Division, based primarily on the statute of limitations issue. In an unpublished opinion by a three-judge panel, the Appellate Division affirmed. Now the Supreme Court will be heard.