Utah Criminal Statute of Limitations

Below are the statutes of limitation for criminal cases in Utah which set forth the time periods within which a legal proceeding must be commenced. If the state fails to bring a case within the specified time period, it loses its right to prosecute for that crime forever. In general, violent crimes have a longer statute of limitations, and with some crimes there is no statute of limitations. In certain instances, the statute of limitations may be tolled, or suspended, which grants the state additional time to commence a legal action.

Utah Code Ann. § 76-1-301 et seq.

Offenses

Capital felonies, aggravated murder; murder; manslaughter; child abuse homicide; aggravated kidnapping; child kidnapping; rape; 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; or any predicate offense to a murder or aggravating offense to an aggravated murder: no limit

Incest: within eight years after the offense is committed, if within four years after its commission the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency

Felony or negligent homicide: within four years

Forcible sexual abuse: within eight years after the offense is committed, if within four years after its commission the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency

Misdemeanor other than negligent homicide: within two years

Any infraction: within one year

Misusing public money, falsification or alteration of government records, or for a bribery offense: within two years after facts have been reported to a prosecutor having responsibility and jurisdiction (this doesn't shorten the time limitations set out in Utah Code Ann. § 76-1-302 or Utah Code Ann. § 76-1-303(3))

Any offense with a material element of fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation: if the general statute of limitation has run, the offense can be prosecuted within one year after a report of the offense has been filed with a law enforcement agency. This can extend the period of limitation up to three years.

If the general statute of limitation has run, a prosecution may be commenced for any offense based upon misconduct in office by a public officer or public employee while the defendant holds a public office or during the period of his public employment, or within two years after termination of the defendant's public office or public employment. With certain exceptions, this can extend the period of limitation up to three years.

DNA evidence

Violent felonies may be commenced at any time if the identity of the perpetrator is unknown but DNA evidence is collected that would identify the perpetrator at a later date (except if the statute of limitations has run as of May 5, 2003 and no charges have been filed). If the statute would have run and identification of a perpetrator is made through the DNA, prosecution must occur within a year.

Tolling provisions

The period of limitation for prosecution does not run while the defendant is out of state. See Utah Code Ann. § 76-1-304 for tolling provisions concerning plea agreements.

Back to State Criminal Defense Statutes

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