Utah Criminal Statute of Limitations

Recently the Salt Lake City police asked for the public’s help in finding a man who may have been involved with the murder of Cornell Burns in 1990. The case involved the shooting and killing of Burns who was found in the road after being shot in the head. After reviewing the case the police realized that Burns was with a male friend shortly before his death. This suspect/witness was never interviewed in connection with the case and now the police want to see if they can find him and maybe solve a 21 year old cold case.

Statute of Limitations

If the police find a suspect that they believe committed the murder they can still charge the person with murder because of Utah’s Criminal Code. In Utah there are a number of offenses that may be prosecuted at any time, mostly murder and violent sexual offenses. In other words these offenses have no statute of limitations. A statute of limitations puts a time limit on an offense or crime that prevents the state from prosecuting someone if a set number of years has passes since the offense. For example a negligent homicide prosecution must commence within four years of the date it was committed.

Possible Defense

Although it is not common, some cases can be solved with a statute of limitations defense. In such a scenario the defense attorney would assert that the prosecution can not be successful because the charges were brought later than the statute of limitations allows. Not all cases are as simply as murder in which there is no limitation, and there are a number of exceptions that could be misread by the prosecution, so it is important that every possible defense to a charge be looked into.

Utah Defenders  – Explore Every Defense

At Utah Defenders we are Utah criminal defense lawyers dedicated to exploring every possible defense to your case.  If you are facing criminal charges, call us to make sure your case is defended in the best way possible.  801.618.1334.

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