Do you have questions about the Utah statutes of limitations? A “statute of limitation” is a statute that describes the time period when the prosecution can file a case against you. The statute of limitation is different for every charge. The most serious felonies have the longest statutes of limitations. Misdemeanors and infractions have the shortest statutes of limitation.
The statute of limitation begins on the date when the crime is committed. Some statutes of limitation begin when the crime is reported to law enforcement. One exception is that the “period of limitation does not run against any defendant during any period of time in which the defendant is out of the state following the commission of an offense.” Utah Code 76-1-304(1). See below for information about specific Utah statutes of limitations.
These are crimes that have no statute of limitation–meaning that the prosecution can bring charges at any time regardless of when the crime allegedly occurred. Utah Code 76-1-301(2).
- capital felony
- aggravated murder
- child abuse homicide
- aggravated kidnapping
- child kidnapping
- rape of a child
- object rape
- object rape of a child
- forcible sodomy
- sodomy on a child
- sexual abuse of a child
- aggravated sexual abuse of a child
- aggravated sexual assault
- aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child
- human trafficking
- human smuggling
10 YEAR LIMITATION BEGINS WHEN VICTIM REACHES 18 YEARS OLD
- Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
- Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old
- Utah Code 76-1-301.1
8 YEAR LIMITATION
- Forcible Sex Abuse
- Utah Code 76-1-302(1)(a)
4 YEAR LIMITATION
- Forcible Sex Abuse (if reported to law enforcement)
- Incest (if reported to law enforcement)
- Any other felony charge, including:
- Distribution of a controlled substance
- Possession of controlled substance
- Robbery or burglary
- Aggravated assault
2 YEAR LIMITATION
- Any misdemeanor charge, including:
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Controlled Substance
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Trespass
- Disorderly Conduct
- Retail Theft
- Theft by Deception
- Open Container
- Public Intoxication
- Reckless Driving
- Failure to Remain at Scene of Accident
- Failure to Stop for Law Enforcement
- Traffic violations
1 YEAR LIMITATION
- Any infraction
What to Do if You May Have Committed a Crime Within the Statute of Limitations
If you have committed a crime and are concerned about the statute of limitations, it is best to consult an attorney. Because some offenses have “no limitation,” meaning prosecution can happen at any time, you are in danger of being prosecuted. The attorneys at Conyers & Nix can advise you on what you should and shouldn’t do if you don’t want to be prosecuted.
Generally, the best things you can do to prevent charges being filed are:
- Don’t talk about the crime with anyone, including family and friends.
- Don’t write about the crime on social media.
- Don’t write about the crime in a journal.
- Don’t brag to anyone about the crime.
- Don’t agree to an interview with police.
- Stay out of trouble with the law (don’t break any more laws).
- Get a good criminal defense attorney if you are arrested for or charged with an offense, and follow their instructions carefully!
The attorneys at Conyers & Nix have extensive experience in pursuing every available defense on your behalf.