Utah Criminal Record Expungement
St. George and Cedar City Attorneys Helping You Get a Fresh Start
Whether you were convicted or not, having a criminal record can negatively affect your life in a significant way. Having a record can impact your ability to obtain employment, housing, and admission to schools. People often fear and discriminate against individuals with any kind of criminal record, and having a publicly available criminal record may seem like a punishment that never ends. Utah, however, provides for expungement that if granted would allow you to live your life unencumbered from the shadow of something that happened in your past.
Douglas D. Terry & Associates know people deserve a second chance. Our Utah expungement lawyers are skilled advocates, experienced in going through the process to obtain expungement orders. If you want a fresh start, we are here to discuss your case and treat you with the dignity and attention you deserve.
What Does Expunging Your Record Mean?
Expunging records of arrest, investigation, detention, and conviction in a criminal case may be sealed so that they are not available to the public through government agencies. Convictions include guilty pleas, a plea of nolo contendere — or no contest, or a finding of guilt.
If sealed, the public will not be able to view or copy the record at issue. Expungement does not change history, but it does mean the records will be sealed. A government agency that has received an expungement order will respond to inquiries and requests as if the record does not exist. After the court orders expungement, you need to provide expungement orders to all relevant government agencies to get them to seal your record.
Furthermore, if the record of an arrest or conviction is expunged, then you have no obligation to say anything about the record and may act as if it does not exist. However, there are limited circumstances when certain government officials may still view an expunged record and when a court may order the records unsealed. It is important to contact an expungement attorney to find out what expungement means for your case and situation.
Requirements for Expunging Criminal Records in Utah
Utah allows expungement of criminal records whether or not there was a conviction if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person petitioning for expungement (the "petitioner") provided a sufficient petition and certificate of eligibility, satisfied the statutory requirements, and granting the expungement order is not contrary to public interest. The process for expunging records differs depending on whether you are seeking expungement of a record without conviction or a record with conviction. Both require obtaining a certificate of eligibility. You receive this certificate after the Bureau of Criminal Identification performs a criminal record check that may involve looking at previously expunged records in order to determine eligibility.
Expunging a Record Without Conviction
According to Section 77-40-104 of the Utah Code of Criminal Procedure, the process for expunging a criminal record without conviction requires:
- At least 30 days have passed since the arrest;
- There are no criminal cases pending; and
- One of the following occurred:
- No charges were filed;
- Charges were filed, but the case was dismissed with prejudice;
- Charges were filed, but the person was acquitted at trial; or
- The statute of limitations has expired
Expunging a Criminal Record with Conviction
The process for expunging a criminal record with conviction has more requirements, but it is worth the effort for a new start with your life.
To expunge your record of conviction you must first receive a certificate of eligibility. This requires that you:
- Pay all ordered fines, interest, and restitution, and
- Allow statutory time periods to pass after the date you were convicted or released from incarceration, probation, or parole, whichever happened last. The specific length of time that must pass depends on the kind of crime you want to expunge:
- 10 Years — Misdemeanors involving DUIs and reckless driving or felonies connected to the Utah Controlled Substances Act
- 7 Years — Felonies
- 5 Years — Class A misdemeanors
- 4 Years — Class B misdemeanors
- 3 Years — Other misdemeanors or infractions
When You Cannot Expunge Your Records
You cannot expunge your records if you have been convicted of the following crimes:
- Capital felony, first-degree felony, or violent felony
- Automobile homicide
- Felony DUI
- A registrable sex offense
You also cannot expunge your conviction records if any of the following are true:
- You provide false or misleading information on the application for certificate of eligibility
- You have a criminal case pending
- You have been convicted in separate criminal episodes of:
- Two or more felonies;
- Three or more crimes of which two are class A misdemeanors;
- Four or more crimes of which three are class B misdemeanors; or
- Five or more crimes of any degree other than certain infractions and the traffic offenses
Reinvent Yourself: Call Our Utah Criminal Record Expungement Lawyers Today
Douglas T. Terry & Associates is the longest serving criminal defense law firm in St. George, Utah, so we understand how having a criminal record can affect our clients. We also have offices in Cedar City, and we provide attorney services throughout southern Utah, including Richfield, Panguitch, Kanab, Beaver and Fillmore. Our criminal record expungement lawyers are experienced in satisfying Utah's requirements to get criminal records expunged, and we will sit down with you to look at your particular situation to determine what your best options are.
If you or a loved one wants to get a criminal record expunged, call us today at (435) 628-4411 or fill out our online contact form.