4 Things to Know About the Statute of Limitations in Utah

Knowing the laws around the statute of limitations in Utah can be crucial to your case. In Utah, even if the statute of limitations has passed on your case, you still have to bring that up as a defense in a timely manner for it to be considered. For example, if you enter a plea or go to trial without properly raising the statute of limitations defense, you might forfeit the right to raise this defense on appeal.

For this reason and many others, it’s crucial for you to understand the statute of limitations laws in Utah. This post will give you a quick outline to help you understand the basics, but you should consult with one of our experienced lawyers to learn how the laws affect your personal case.

1. What is the statute of limitations?

Simply put, the statute of limitations is a timeline in which a prosecutor must bring a case against a defendant. If the timeline of the statute of limitations has passed, a prosecutor can’t bring a case against a defendant.

The statute of limitations varies in Utah based on the severity of the crime. Prosecution for the offenses below must be brought within the timelines indicated:

Felony or negligent homicide: 4 years

Misdemeanor (excluding negligent homicide): 2 years

Infraction: 1 year

Additionally, the following crimes have their own statute of limitations periods:

Misusing public money, falsification/alteration of government records, and bribery: 2 years

Unlawful sexual activity with a minor: 10 years from the time the victim reaches the age of 18

Forcible sexual abuse and incest: 8 years (if reported within 4 years of commission)

The timelines above are the basic foundation of the statute of limitations for many, but not all, crimes committed in Utah. Most serious crimes do not have a limit. And there are some extenuating circumstances that may extend the timeline for crimes that do have a limit.

2. What crimes do not have a statute of limitations?

For some of the most serious crimes, the statute of limitations in Utah does not apply. Below is an abbreviated list of crimes for which prosecution may be commenced at any time. You can find the full list on the Utah code website.

4. How does the statute of limitations affect my case in Utah?

Understanding all the intricate details of the laws surrounding the statute of limitations can be complicated. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat can help you learn more about how the statute of limitations may affect your case or the case of a loved one.

Remember, in Utah, even if the statute of limitations has passed on your case, you still have to bring that defense to the judge in a timely manner. This is where our thorough and experienced legal team can help make sure you don’t miss out on that defense if it applies to your case.

Contact us at (801) 532-5297 if you have questions or if you are ready to talk about the best way to defend your case.


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