EXPUNGEMENT OF YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD IN UTAH
Expungement is a legal process that involves the “sealing” or erasing of the legal record of an arrest or criminal conviction.
Whether or not an expungement is available to you in the state of Utah depends on the type of criminal activity you were arrested or convicted for, and on any current or pending criminal cases. The procedure you have to follow to get an arrest or conviction expunged is regulated by state law. In Utah, you can have your criminal record expunged through the procedure outlined in the Utah Expungement Act.
Benefits of an Expungement – Cleaning up your criminal record
Records of arrests, convictions, or a probation status can significantly lower your chances of finding employment. Employers may also ask job applicants if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.
If you receive an expungement, you can legally answer “no” when asked about previous convictions or arrests. An employer may also not consider an expunged conviction when deciding whether to hire you.
If you are seeking a state professional license, for example, as a contractor or real estate agent, you have to disclose previous convictions or arrests. If your arrest, sentence, or probation status has been expunged, however, you will be more likely to be granted a state license.
Before holding a position at a professional organization, you may be subjected to background checks. Successfully undergoing the expungement process will alleviate the stigma associated with previous run-ins with the law.
Credibility as a Legal Witness
When acting as a witness in court, the opposing side may bring up past felonies to question your credibility. If you expunged convictions or arrests, however, nobody may try to impeach your credibility as a witness.
After receiving an expungement, it may allow you to close an unpleasant chapter and continue with your life with a “clean slate.”
Having a case expunged in Utah can take as long as six to twelve months, and there are some costs involved in the process. It is, therefore, worth determining whether you are eligible for expungement before you start the application process.
If you were never convicted of the charges, for example:
- you entered and completed the terms of a “plea in abeyance,”
- you had a trial and were acquitted of the charges, or
- you were arrested, but the case was never filed,
you may be eligible for expungement.
On the other hand, if you were convicted of a crime that is not eligible for expungement, you may have to apply for a reduction of penalties, or in some cases apply for a pardon from the Governor. These crimes include, among others, capital and first-degree felonies as well as an offense for which you had to register, for example, on the sex offense registry.
Wait periods and the number of convictions can also influence your eligibility for expungement.
Doing Your Own Expungement
If you are willing to go to the effort, you can go through the expungement process yourself. First, you have to determine if you are eligible for expungement by reviewing the Utah Expungement Act.
If you are eligible, you have to contact the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigations to apply for a certificate of eligibility. After applying for the certificate, paying the application fee, and receiving the document, you’ll have to draft the Petition for Expungement and file the petition to the relevant court and pay the applicable filing fee.
Then, you’ll have to serve the prosecutor’s office with the relevant paperwork, handle their objections, and attend a hearing that the court will schedule to argue your case.
If you are successful, you’ll have to request the Order of Expungement, arrange and pay for certified copies of the Order of Expungement, and serve these copies to all of the involved parties and required agencies.
Throughout the process, there are several fees that you’ll need to pay, including an application fee, a certificate issuance fee, and a filing fee. You will also have to draft your petition for expungement and handle objections in accordance with the Utah Expungement Act.
Contact Hoyer Law to do Your Expungement for You
If you don’t have the time, knowledge, or desire to go through the expungement process yourself, you can contact Hoyer Law to help.
After determining your eligibility for you, we will send you an Application for Eligibility and Third-Party Release that you can file with the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigations with our assistance. The Utah BCI will take your fingerprints, and you will have to pay an application fee.
We will then take care of the entire process, including the hearing, on your behalf.
To start the expungement process or to schedule an initial consultation, contact Hoyer Law today.