Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

What is the statute of limitations for a felony charge in Utah?

For most Utah felony charges, a prosecution case must be filed within four years of when it is committed. If charges are not filed within the limitation period, future prosecution can be forever prohibited. But there are a number of exceptions to this four-year statute of limitations for more serious felony charges.

Under Utah Code Ann. 76-1-301, there is no time limitation on when a prosecution can be filed for the following charges: (a) capital felony; (b) aggravated murder; (c) murder; (d) manslaughter; (e) child abuse homicide; (f) aggravated kidnapping; (g) child kidnapping; (h) rape; (i) rape of a child; (j) object rape; (k) object rape of a child; (l) forcible sodomy; (m) sodomy on a child; (n) sexual abuse of a child; (o) aggravated sexual abuse of a child; (p) aggravated sexual assault; or (q) any predicate offense to a murder or aggravating offense to an aggravated murder.

Charges for forcible sexual abuse or incest must be filed within eight years after the offense is committed, if the offense is reported to police within four years after its commission. There are also certain exceptions that can extend the time period for filing charges involving fraud or a breach of fiduciary duty by up to three years. Additionally, if a defendant is out of state, the statute of limitations period is considered to not run against that defendant.

The statute of limitations for most misdemeanors and infractions is significantly shorter. But for either a misdemeanor or a felony, criminal charges can be barred if prosecutors fail to file charges within the limitations period imposed by the statute.

Don't Utah prosecutors have to file charges within 72 hours?

There is a common misconception that prosecutors must file charges within 72 hours from the time you are arrested and booked into jail. This misconception probably comes from the fact that if charges are not filed within 72 hours, you will probably be released from jail. But a statute of limitations is different from what is sometimes called the "72-hour" rule. Under Utah's statute of limitations for criminal charges, Utah Code Ann. 76-1-302, prosecutors have a much longer time period to file charges.

Just because you are released from jail does not mean that charges cannot be filed later. If you are released from jail without a notice of a court date, it is best to contact a Utah criminal defense attorney. An experienced defense attorney can help evaluate your case and give you a better idea of what to expect next.

Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Utah

If you have been arrested, charged with a crime, or if you believe that police are investigating you, consultation with an attorney can be critical to achieving a successful outcome in your case. As an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has successfully defended clients in felony and misdemeanor cases ranging from homicide to DUI, and virtually everything in between.

Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Minor Possession Alcohol - MIP AttorneyDismissed - Minor in possession charge (MIP) was dismissed by prosecutor when defense analysis demonstrated that the police had failed to obtain necessary evidence against client. Police had raided a large party involving underage drinking. Several individuals were charged, but police did not obtain evidence showing that client had personally consumed or possessed alcohol. Case was dismissed.
  • Utah 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

You want the best defense. Agressive is good. But results ultimately are what really matter. Creating an effective strategy for defending against criminal prosecution requires a thorough understanding of statutes, case law, and evidentiary and procedural rules. A successful outcome is more likely when....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

With decades of combined experience, our criminal defense team attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and determination to help you achieve the results you need. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. Choosing the best attorney to defend your case may be one of the most important decisions you will ever make....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Attorney - Reasons to Hope

An arrest is not a conviction. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, it can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are things you can do right now that can increase your chances of a good outcome. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you evaluate the various options available to you and help develop a strategy for success....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.