Expunging Your Criminal History In Utah

Utah law provides a way for you to expunge your criminal history in most cases. Contact one of our experienced attorneys to walk you through the process and let you know if you are eligible for a criminal history expungement.

There are specific guidelines governing expungements. Certain crimes are not eligible for expungement or require a person to wait additional time before petitioning the court for an expungement. Similarly, too extensive of a criminal history can prohibit someone from being eligible for expungement. You cannot seek expungement of prior cases if you currently face pending criminal charges.

You must wait a certain period of time in order to motion the court for an expungement. The court looks at the latest date of any one of the following events to toll the beginning of the waiting period: conviction date, or release from incarceration, probation or parole. You must wait three years for a Class C misdemeanor or infraction; four years for a Class B misdemeanor; five years for a Class A misdemeanor; seven years for a felony; and 10 years for a DUI (even if a misdemeanor) or certain felony drug convictions.

You may be able to shorten the waiting period by seeking a reduction of your criminal history (402 reduction) before petitioning the court to expunge your criminal history. With a 402 reduction, you can reduce a criminal conviction by up to two degrees. For example, if you were convicted of a third-degree felony, you would normally have to wait seven years following the termination of your case in order to seek an expungement. However, if you were able to obtain a two-step 402 reduction, then your third-degree felony conviction would be reduced to a Class B misdemeanor. As a result, the expungement waiting period would be reduced from seven years to four.

To obtain an expungement of your criminal history in Utah, you must first submit an application for expungement of adult history to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). This requires fingerprints and a $50 fee, and it can take up to 12 weeks to get the results. BCI will run your criminal history and identify cases for which you are eligible to petition for expungement. They will issue you certificates for eligibility for expungement.

You or your attorney will then file a petition for expungement with the court that processed your criminal case and attach the certificates for eligibility of expungement. There is also a filing of $135 per case and, depending on the court, copying fees. A copy is served with the prosecutor who will attempt to contact any victims. The prosecutor can also stipulate or object to the request for expungement. At the court's discretion, a hearing may be set.

Pursuant to the statute (Utah Code Annotated Section 77-40-107), the court must issue an order granting the expungement if the petitioner has complied with the expungement statute, it is not contrary to the public interest to issue the expungement and, if the person seeks expungement for a drug-related offense, the person is no longer using drugs.

If the court orders your criminal history expunged, certified copies of the court order must be sent to any state agencies that have any records of your criminal history (police department, prosecutor's office, jail, etc.). The court order essentially tells those agencies to seal their records. In only limited circumstances can those records be unsealed.

If you were charged with a crime, but the charge was dismissed (even if pursuant to a plea in abeyance), you may petition the court to expunge the record of you being charged following the dismissal of your case.

If you are interested in expunging your criminal history, contact us today for a consultation. Don't hesitate to take advantage of laws designed to give you a second chance.