Utah Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
Every crime has a time limit on how long criminal prosecutors have to file criminal charges, and possibly a trial based on evidence gathered by the police. These time limits generally vary depending on the type of crime, and prosecutors have more time to bring serious felony charges than for less serious misdemeanor charges. This is an introduction to criminal statutes of limitations laws in Utah.
Criminal Statutes of Limitation in Utah
The table below lists Utah's criminal statutes of limitations.
|Topic||Utah Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws|
|Definition||The criminal statute of limitations is a time limit the state has for prosecuting a crime. Under Utah law, the statute of limitations depends on the severity of the crime you face, ranging from one year to no limit.|
|Code Sections||Utah Code 76-1-301, et seq.|
|Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim||
|Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run||Statute of limitations does not run against a defendant when out of state following the commission of an offense.|
|Other||Prosecution of violent felonies according to 76-3-203.5(1)(c)(i)(A) through (BB) have no time limit if the identity of the person who committed the crime is unknown but DNA evidence is collected that would identify the person at a later date. Criminal Statutes of Limitation
Statutes of limitations try to ensure timely criminal trials that are fair and based on the best possible evidence. Because physical evidence of a crime (like fingerprints and DNA) and testimonial evidence (like officer statements and eyewitness accounts) can degrade or even disappear over time, the sooner the evidence can appear at trial, the better. Statutes of limitations encourage prosecutors to bring cases to trial sooner rather than later.
Under most state laws, the statutory “clock" on criminal charges runs while the alleged perpetrator remains in the state where the crime occurred. If the suspect is outside the state, the clock will pause, and then resume running if and when the suspect reenters the state. This is designed to prevent criminals from avoiding prosecution for serious crimes by running, hiding, and trying to wait out the authorities.
Related Resources for Utah Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
Any criminal charge is a serious matter. If you would like legal assistance regarding a criminal matter, you can consult with a Utah criminal defense attorney. You can also find additional articles and information by visiting FindLaw's section on Criminal Law Basics.
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