Salt Lake City, UT asked in Criminal Law for Utah

Q: If the statute of limitations has run can the police still arrest you?

My friend met up with some hookers 5.5 years ago in Salt Lake County and he worries he's going to get in trouble for it. I believe the statute of limitations In 2016 is 2 years for them to find out and press charges. Now 5.5 years later can anything happen to him?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lance E. Bastian
Lance E. Bastian
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: While you are generally correct that the statute of limitations in Utah for patronizing a prostitute is 2 years, there are a few important caveats to that. First, if your friend has prior convictions for the same thing or if the prostitutes involved were minors, it could be a third-degree Felony rather than a class A Misdemeanor, which would have a 4-year statute of limitations. Obviously, that's also within the 5.5 years you mentioned. However, if your friend was outside of the state of Utah for any length of time during that period, the statute of limitations would have been paused during that time. In other words, if this happened 5.5 years ago, but your friend was out of the state for 2 years, the timer on the statute would be at 3.5 years right now. Chances are that no one is waiting around to grab your friend on this after 5.5 years, but depending on the circumstances, he might not be entirely out of the woods.

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