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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.

State Utah
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.
Felonies
  • Capital felony: No time limit.
  • Aggravated murder: No time limit.
  • Murder: No time limit.
  • Manslaughter: No time limit.
  • Child abuse homicide: No time limit.
  • Aggravated kidnapping: No time limit.
  • Child kidnapping: No time limit.
  • Rape: No time limit.
  • Rape of a child: No time limit.
  • Object rape: No time limit.
  • Object rape of a child: No time limit.
  • Forcible sodomy: No time limit.
  • Sodomy on a child: No time limit.
  • Sexual abuse of a child: No time limit.
  • Aggravated sexual abuse of a child: No time limit.
  • Aggravated sexual assault: No time limit.
  • Any predicate offense to murder or aggravating offense to an aggravated murder: No time limit.
  • Aggravated human trafficking or aggravated human smuggling in violation of Section 76-5-310: No time limit.
  • Aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child, under Section 76-10-1306: No time limit.
  • Human trafficking of a child, under Section 76-5-308.5: No time limit.
  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor: 10 years time limit from when the victim turns 18 years old.
  • Any felony or negligent homicide with DNA that would identify defendant: 4 years time limit, but if prosecution is for forcible sexual abuse or incest then 8 years time limit after offense is committed or 4 years if reported to law enforcement agency.
  • Misuse of public money, falsification or alteration of government records, and bribery: 2 years time limit after prosecutor is made aware of offense.
  • Fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation or misconduct of public officer or employee: 1 year time limit after offense has been filed with a law enforcement agency and cannot be extended more than 3 years.
Misdemeanors
  • Any misdemeanor other than negligent homicide: 2 years time limit.
  • Any infractions: 1 year time limit.
Crimes in Which a Child Is a Victim
  • Child abuse homicide: No time limit.
  • Child kidnapping: No time limit.
  • Rape of a child: No time limit.
  • Object rape of a child: No time limit.
  • Sodomy on a child: No time limit.
  • Sexual abuse of a child: No time limit.
  • Aggravated sexual abuse of a child: No time limit.
  • Aggravated exploitation of prostitution involving a child, under Section 76-10-1306: No time limit.
  • Human trafficking of a child, under Section 76-5-308.5: No time limit.
  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor: 10 years time limit from when the victim turns 18 years old.
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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