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How long in New Jersey does the state have to indict someone who has been charged with a felony drug offense?

Beverly, NJ |

My boyfriend was charged in October 2007 during a drug raid however he was not indicted until 2009. He was sentenced in 2010 and is currently in prison. However, I have been hearing that he should have never been indicted because the State took too long after the arrest.

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Attorney answers 3


More information is needed to answer the question. The State has 5 years to charge him but based on the information provided they did charge in time. Your question is how long can they take to indict and that depends whether he was in or out and whether speedy trial motions were made. NJ Court Rule 3:25-3 allows for a dismissal for unreasonable delay to present to a grand jury. What is unreasonable and whether there was prejudice to your boyfriend are the issues. A few counties have self imposed 90 day restrictions which cause complaints to be dismissed if not presented. But this is not law just the rule in those vicinages. If not on appeal he can file a PCR within 5 years on conviction and argue the attorney mistake if any


Mr. Cheser is correct. His recourse is to file a PCR motion and argue speedy trial violations.


Unlike other jurisdictions New Jersey does not have statutory speedy trial limitations. A defendant would have to rely on constitutional speedy trial grounds and as Attorney Cheser indicated R. 3:25-3. This, however, would require that the defendant show that s/he was actually prejudiced by the delay. You should contact an attorney (maybe the attorney who represented you boyfriend) and determine if there were any pre indictment motions filed and what they decisions on them were. He could try for an appeal or other post conviction relief. Good Luck.