You have worked hard to turn your life around or to get past that arrest or conviction that still haunts you. Perhaps it’s time to find out if you are eligible for an expungement. If your situation meets certain requirements, there is a good possibility you are.
Imagine never having to disclose past arrests or convictions to potential employers or divulge that information on housing applications. The Utah Expungement Act (http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title77/Chapter40/77-40.html) provides an avenue for you to say goodbye to past criminal records held by government agencies through sealing them off to the public. While an expungement cannot erase all evidence that the event occurred, you will be able to legally answer background inquiries as if the event never happened.
Whether you qualify for an expungement is determined by a couple of different factors. One is the nature of the record, and the other is how much time has passed since the ending of any proceedings or sentences pertaining to the record for which you are seeking an expungement.
If you desire an expungement from an incident that did not result in a conviction, such as an arrest, you qualify for an expungement if thirty days or more have passed since the arrest, you have no other criminal cases pending, and one of the following:
- No charges were filed against you;
- Charges were filed, but the case was dismissed with prejudice;
- Charges were filed, but you were acquitted at trial; or
- The statute of limitations has expired.
If you desire an expungement from an incident in which you were convicted, the first thing to consider is the nature of the crime. Records of a capitol felony, first degree felony, violent felony, automobile homicide, DUI felony, and registerable sex offenses cannot be expunged unless you have received a pardon for the offense. Additionally, if you have another criminal case pending, or have been convicted of two or more crimes, you may not be eligible for expungement.
However, if the type of criminal record you wish to have expunged is not listed in the above paragraph, and if the appropriate amount of time has passed since your conviction, release from incarceration, or completion of probation or parole (whichever occurred last), you are most likely eligible for an expungement. The time factors are as follows:
- For a misdemeanor conviction of driving under the influence and reckless driving (see Utah Code Subsection 41-6a-501(2)), 10 years.
- For a felony of knowingly driving under the influence resulting in the serious injury or death of another individual (see Utah Code Subsection 58-37-8(2)(g)), 10 years.
- Other felonies, 7 years.
- Class A misdemeanor, 5 years.
- Class B misdemeanor, 4 years.
- Other misdemeanor or infraction, 3 years.
Once these factors have been met, we can lead you through the expungement process so you can emerge with a clean slate. Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to see if an expungement is a viable option for you. Our firm can file all the documents necessary to receive an expungement for as little as $850.00 plus any filing fees.
The above information is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney to obtain information that is applicable to your individual case.