Understanding What Can and Cannot Be Expunged from Your Criminal Record in Utah

You’ve made a mistake (or two) that has left you with a Utah criminal record. Although you’ve been a conscientious and law-abiding citizen ever since, that record is preventing you from applying for certain jobs or professional licenses. Fortunately, it may be possible to have your record expunged. In other words, sealed or erased so that you can put the past behind you.

The Utah Expungement Act governs the process of expunging records of arrests, investigations, and convictions / detentions. The criteria for a successful expungement application depends on whether or not you were convicted.

If You Were Not Convicted

You may qualify to expunge your record for a crime if you were not convicted and the following circumstances apply:

  • It has been at least 30 days since you were arrested
  • No criminal cases are pending
  • One of the following took place:
    • No charges were filed
    • The case was dismissed with prejudice
    • You were acquitted at trial
    • The applicable statute of limitations has expired

If You Were Convicted

If you want to expunge a record of a conviction, you must pay all fines, restitution, fees, and any applicable interest first. Depending on the crime, you will also have to wait a certain period of time since you were convicted, released from custody, or completed your parole or probation, whichever happened last.

  • Class A misdemeanor: 5 years
  • Class B misdemeanor: 4 years
  • Infractions and all other misdemeanors: 3 years
  • Felony: 7 years
  • Felonies involving controlled substances: 10 years

Before you can apply to expunge your record, you are required to get a Certificate of Eligibility from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification. Once you have the certificate, the petition must be filed in the court where your case was heard or, if no case was developed against you, in the district court of the county where the police arrested you.

Offenses That Cannot Be Expunged

It is important to remember that unless you were pardoned for the offense, you may not have any record for the following crimes expunged.

  • First degree felony
  • Capital felony
  • Violent felony
  • A registrable sex offense
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Felony DUI

You also cannot expunge records of any conviction if any of the following apply:

  • You provide misleading or false information when applying for the Certificate of Eligibility
  • There is a criminal case pending against you
  • You have been convicted of:
    • Two or more felonies
    • At least three crimes, two of which are Class A misdemeanors
    • Four or more crimes, three of which are Class B misdemeanors
    • Five or more crimes of any type other than infractions and certain traffic offenses listed in Section 77-40-102 of the Utah Code of Criminal Procedure

Clearing your criminal history can be a complicated process. For assistance in determining whether your record qualifies for expungement and help in navigating the requirements, call the Law Office of Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins today. We will advise you on the best way to clear your record and move on with your life.

Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates