How Long is too Long?
Most people have heard of statutes of limitation and, unfortunately, they have heard wrong.
While people often discuss statutes of limitations, people often guess or assume the statute of limitations for most crimes is six years. First, it is important to note that statutes of limitation are jurisdiction specific. Meaning if you are in a Utah state court, the Utah state statutes of limitation apply.
Here are the standard statutes of limitation for Utah:
The statutes of limitation for forcible sexual abuse, and incest is four years after the act if the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or eight years after the offense is committed.
Most other felonies, and negligent homicide, must be commenced within four years after the offense is committed.
Apart from negligent homicide, misdemeanors generally must be commenced within two years after the offense is committed.
Any infraction must be commenced within one year after it is committed.
A prosecution is “commenced” upon the filing of an indictment by a grand jury; the filing of a complaint or information; or the issuance of a citation.
With the introduction of D.N.A. evidence, if the statute of limitations would have run, law enforcement has an additional year from discovering the identity of the perpetrator.
Do not think you can just go out of state to wait out your time. Under U.C.A. 76-1-304, “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.” Or in other words, if a defendant leaves the state, it stops the clock.
Schmidt Law Firm Law Firm
136 East South Temple Street #1500
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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