A statute of limitations is a law which sets the maximum time limits during which legal proceedings can commence after an event.
The time allowed under a statute of limitations will vary, depending on the nature and severity of the offense, and the state in which it occurs. Typically, more severe and violent crimes will have longer time periods in which they can be prosecuted.
Both criminal and civil cases can be subject to a statute of limitations, and certain crimes have no statute of limitations at all.
Statute of Limitations for DUI Charges
The statute of limitations for a DUI under state laws in Utah depends on whether the crime was considered a misdemeanor or felony offense; a misdemeanor DUI will have a two-year statute of limitations, and a felony DUI will have a four-year statute of limitations.
However, most DUI cases begin immediately after a driver is pulled over, in order to give police the time required to get the blood sample needed to test for high blood alcohol concentration.
If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated, it is unlikely that police will fail to prosecute you before the statute of limitations expires. Therefore, it is in your best interest to act fast and talk to a Utah defense attorney right away.
Criminal Offenses That Can Always Be Prosecuted
Under Utah code, certain offenses may always be prosecuted, as they have no statute of limitations.
This list of offenses includes:
- Aggravated sexual assault
The full list of criminal offenses is available in the Utah Code at 76-1-301.
Felony Statute of Limitations
The Utah statute of limitations for felony acts is typically four years. However, there are certain felony crimes that offer exceptions to this statute, such as cases of forcible sexual abuse, and incest. Also, if a violent felony is committed by an unknown suspect and DNA evidence later identifies that suspect, the state may be granted an additional year in which to file charges.
Review Utah Code at 76-1-301 through 306 for information on most of Utah’s criminal statute of limitations.
Utah Misdemeanor Statute of Limitations
Misdemeanors have a two-year statute of limitations in Utah, with the exception of negligent homicide, which has a four-year statute. In cases of both misdemeanors and felonies, it is important to note that the clock on a statute of limitations will pause if a suspect leaves the state of Utah.
Furthermore, the statute of limitations affects how much time law enforcement has to file charges against someone, and an actual court case could extend beyond the initial time period set by the statute.
Utah Criminal Defense Statute of Limitations Lawyer
Make sure to consult a criminal defense statute of limitations lawyer in order to discover how to best protect your interests from unlawful criminal prosecution. There are many nuances when it comes to Utah law, and an experienced criminal defense attorney in Utah will help you gain a better understanding of the time limits that relate to your case.