Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Drug Possession

Many (but not all) criminal statutes of limitations can be found in Utah Code §76-1-301 to §76-1-306. In Utah, the statute of limitations for drug possession depends on the classification of the offense:

Felony Drug Possession: For any felony drug possession charge in Utah, including those involving distribution, the statute of limitations is 4 years. This means the state has 4 years from the date the alleged offense occurred to file charges against you.

Misdemeanor Drug Possession: The statute of limitations for misdemeanor drug possession charges is 2 years.

Infractions: Utah also has drug infractions, which are minor offenses with lesser penalties. For drug infractions, the statute of limitations is 1 year.

Specific Examples of Drug Crimes and Their Statutes of Limitations

  • Possession of cocaine or heroin: Felony, 4-year statute of limitations.
  • Possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia: Misdemeanor, 2-year statute of limitations.
  • Possession of marijuana not in accordance with Utah Medical Cannabis Act: Infraction, 1-year statute of limitations.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions and complexities to these general rules. For example, the statute of limitations can be tolled (paused) under certain circumstances, such as if you leave the state or commit another crime.

The Importance of Legal Advice

It is important to consult a qualified Utah criminal defense attorney to get a specific and accurate assessment of your situation. We can review the details of your case and advise you on the applicability of the statute of limitations in your specific situation.