Statutes of limitations are the “window of time” when criminal charges can be filed. These statutes are extremely important because exceeding that window of time will prevent criminal charges from being filed. Statutes of limitations are implemented so that an individual does not have to forever worry about charges being brought against them; as time passes, witnesses may move or die, evidence can go missing, and memories can fade. In the interest of justice, many criminal offenses are governed by statutes of limitations.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes in Utah?
Statutes of limitations for sex offenses have been a controversial topic because alleged victims of sex crimes may not make the allegations until the statute has passed and it is too late. State legislators largely removed statutes of limitations for any civil lawsuits involving child abuse in 2015. Utah, unlike many states, has no statute of limitations for most sex crimes. The following sex offenses can be charged at any time:
- Sexual Abuse of a Child
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child
- Forcible Sodomy
- Sodomy on a Child
- Human Trafficking of a Child
- Aggravated Exploitation of Prostitution Involving a Child
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Rape of a Child
- Object Rape
- Object Rape of a Child
- Aggravated Human Trafficking
The lack of statutes of limitations for many sex crimes leaves defendants open to prosecution for a lifetime.
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, you cannot afford to face these charges without the assistance of a strong criminal defense attorney from Conyers & Nix. Penalties for sex crimes can involve decades in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and restitution, and lifetime placement on the Sex Offender Registry.
Which Utah Sex Crimes Do Have a Statute of Limitations?
The following sex crimes are Class A misdemeanors or third-degree felonies and have a four-year statute of limitations:
- Sexual Abuse of a Minor
- Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a 16 or 17-year-old
- Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor
These crimes can be more complicated than other criminal charges. Depending on the facts and circumstances, your attorney may ask for reduced charges based on different factors, such as the age of the defendant and the age of the alleged victim.
The crime of forcible sexual abuse has a statute of limitation of eight years and involves touching under the clothing of protected areas. The offense of incest also has a statute of limitation of eight years. Sex crimes charged as misdemeanors generally have a two-year statute of limitation. If you are unsure whether the sex crime you are being charged with has a statute of limitations, talk to your criminal defense attorney.
What Should You Do If You Are Accused of a Sex Crime?
If you are charged with a sex crime, it is imperative that you immediately speak to an experienced sex crime attorney who can quickly sort out your charges and work toward the best outcome possible, including a potential dismissal of your charges. Not only do sex crimes have the potential to put you in jail or prison for a very long time, they can also place you on the Sex Offender Registry for life, which can prevent you from obtaining employment, housing, government student loans, and much more. You may also face stigma and judgment from others for having a sex crime conviction on your record. In particular, an accusation or conviction of rape or any sex crime with a child can leave your life in shambles, whether you are guilty or not.
How Can a Sex Crimes Attorney Help with Your Questions Regarding Statutes of Limitations and Sex Crimes?
You must have solid legal assistance after being charged with a sex crime in Utah. Your attorney will deeply understand the statutes of limitations associated with your charged offenses and will know the best ways to defend against your charges. Your attorney will understand the damage that can be done to your reputation after being accused of a sex crime and will know how to contain and manage that reputational fallout.
In some cases, your Utah sex crimes attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to help you avoid the lifetime consequences of being placed on the Sexual Offender Registry. Your attorney may also be able to help you insulate yourself from a subsequent civil lawsuit following your criminal charges. It simply makes sense to give your future a chance by speaking to a knowledgeable Utah sex crimes attorney from Conyers & Nix.
How Can an Attorney from Conyers & Nix Help with the Utah Sex Offense Statute of Limitations?
The Utah sex offense statute of limitations can significantly affect your charges. Therefore, it is extremely important to have an attorney from Conyers & Nix by your side who fully understands these statutes. At Conyers & Nix, attorneys Kate Conyers and Jesse Nix will never judge you because they believe no one should be judged based on their worst moment. They will clearly explain your options, including best and worst-case scenarios, as they listen carefully to your explanation. Kate and Jesse will answer your questions honestly and in a comprehensive manner. Don’t try to face sex crime charges on your own—contact Conyers & Nix today.