Utah Expungement Can Change Your Life for The Better

Criminal records were never meant to be part of the punishment. However, what was created for administrative reasons has now resulted in a de facto enhancement in the sentence. Often times, this de facto enhancement makes it difficult to secure a job or housing. With smart phone apps putting criminal records at people's fingertips, a criminal record can even hurt relationships.

Utah expungement law allows both felony records and misdemeanor records to be expunged- even if a person has multiple convictions. The formula to determine eligibility is a bit complicated if a person has multiple convictions. A person becomes ineligible if they have

  • 5 or more convictions, of any degree (felony or misdemeanor)
  • 3 misdemeanor Bs if you have 4 or more convictions
  • 2 misdemeanor As is you have 3 or more convictions
  • 2 or more felony convictions
But wait!!! Some convictions can be reduced by up to two categories. So a Felony can be changed into a class B Misdemeanor. The reduction, often called a 402 reduction after the law that enables it, is an important law for someone who has multiple convictions and would not otherwise be eligible for expungement in Utah.

Utah Expungement Waiting Periods

A person who wants to have their misdemeanor or felony expunged in Utah will have to meeting specified waiting periods before applying. The waiting periods start at the end of the sentence, not the date of the arrest or conviction.

  • 2nd and 3rd degree felonies 7 Years
  • Class A misdemeanor 5 years
  • Class B misdemeanor 4 years
  • Class C misdemeanor 3 years
  • Alcohol related traffic offenses (Title 41) 10 Years
Capital felonies are never eligible, felony 1 & 2 are not eligible, nor are sexual offenses against children.

How To Expunge Your Utah Record

Once you determine that you are eligible, keep in mind that a 402 reduction can reduce the waiting periods, you need to apply for a certificate of eligibility from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). The BCI certificate will tell you what records are eligible to be expunged. There is a cost with requesting a certificate, $40 as of 10/4/2013. The BCI is the central repository of all Utah criminal records.

Every state has a criminal record repository. In Arizona, it is called the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

You then need to apply for expungement in the courthouse where your convicted was. This means you may be back in front of the same judge. The judge can deny the petition for expungement and the district attorney and victim, if any, can object to the request for expungement. The court may also charge a filing fee to process your expungement request. If a Utah court denies the expungement, you probably will not get your money back.

Expungement Attorney Reviews

You will have a lot of options when it comes to finding an attorney to handle your expungement. Most charge about $700. Make sure to read the reviews of expungement lawyers. It is always best to have an Utah attorney who specializes in Expungement.