Reduce your Salt Lake City Felony Charge
Posted on December 4th, 2013
If you were convicted of a felony in Salt Lake City, you may be eligible to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor. Once your felony has been successfully reduced to a misdemeanor, you may become eligible to have your misdemeanor expunged from your criminal record. Reducing your felony by even one degree reduces the waiting period that you must satiate in order to get the conviction expunged, meaning that you will be able to expunge your conviction sooner. By expunging an offense from your criminal record, it is as though the offense never occurred and you can legally say that you were never convicted of a crime.
Under Utah Penal Code Section 76-3-402, an offender can reduce a conviction up to two degrees. If you are petitioning to reduce your offense by just one degree, you do not need permission from the prosecution. To reduce your offense by two degrees, you must have the written permission of the prosecution. If you have multiple cases, you may be able to petition to reduce each case; however, you must file each case separately. If you have multiple charges in a case, then your case is classified according to the highest classification of offense. For instance, if you have a case with a misdemeanor A conviction and a misdemeanor B conviction, the case is classified as a misdemeanor A conviction.
By reducing your Salt Lake felony to a misdemeanor, you may also restore your right to own firearms. Not all offenses, however, are eligible for the restoration of firearm rights. If your case is reduced to a lower degree felony, your gun rights cannot yet be restored. Once your felony is expunged, however, your gun rights may be restored as long as the federal ban does not apply. There is a lifetime prohibition from the United States government (Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act), which prohibits firearm ownership of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by the federal law. Therefore, if you were convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, the federal gun ban may preclude you from owning a firearm, even after expungement.
To be eligible for a felony reduction in Salt Lake City, you must have been sentenced to probation and have successfully completed your probation sentence, regardless of whether you were sentenced to prison, a suspended state prison sentence, or if you went to county jail. In addition, you must have paid all fines owed to the court, including restitution.
For more information on clearing your felony charge, read our article on how to expunge a criminal record in Utah.