As you may know, a felony conviction can have drastic impacts on your lifestyle. With the growing widespread use of background checks, it can make it even harder to obtain employment. Many landlords also run these checks, which can even effect your housing options. You should not have to endure even more consequences after you have served your time.
Fortunately, you may be eligible to have your felony charges decreased to misdemeanors with successful probation completion. This is done under Utah Code Section 76-3-402 (commonly referred to as a "Utah 402 Reduction"). However, this is not an automatic or guaranteed process. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help determine your eligibility and argue your case before the prosecution.
Salt Lake City 402 Reduction Attorney
Criminal defense attorney Darren M. Levitt is dedicated to helping men and women convicted of felonies regain their lives. 402 Reduction presents an option for much needed relief to people who have completed the terms of their probation. Salt Lake City defense attorney Darren M. Levitt understands Utah's criminal code and, if eligible, helps clients pursue a successful 402 Reduction.
If you have successfully completed your probation and are considering 402 Reduction, call 801-455-1743. During your free consultation, Darren M. Levitt will help determine your eligibility. If eligible, he will confidently argue your case before the prosecutor and show that you are an ideal candidate for the charge reduction. Contact Levitt Legal today to being the process of reducing your charges.
402 Reduction Information Center
Back to Top
Conviction of Lower Degree of Offense ("402 Reduction")
Under Utah Statute 76-3-402, the court may enter a judgment of conviction for the next lower degree of offense. This is an option granted to individuals who meet several requirements, primary of which is the successful completion of the terms of their original sentence. The court will also review the nature and circumstances of the original felony offense, as well as the defendant's history and character. The prosecutor and any of the defendant's victims are given the opportunity to argue for or against the charge reduction.
In situations where the court suspends the sentence and gives the defendant probation, the court may offer the charge reduction under certain circumstances. These circumstances are:
- After the defendant completes the probation;
- With motion and notice from the prosecutor;
- After the prosecutor has made reasonable effort to inform any victims;
- After a hearing requesting by the defendant's victims or prosecutor; or
- If the court finds that the defendant proposed charge reduction is "in the interests of justice."
The court may not grant a felony charge reduction if:
- The reduction is not allowed by law;
- The defendant has not paid the court ordered restitution to the victim for the offense that the reduction is being pursued;
- The defendant is a sex offender required to register as such for their lifetime (Note: sex offenders may pursue reduction if their registration requirements have expired).
Keep in mind that the title for the offense that the reduction is being made for cannot be altered.
Back to Top
One-Step and Two-Step Felony Charge Reductions
There are two different types of reductions: one-step or two-step. The one you need depends on the degree of your criminal offense. A person with a third degree felony would need a one-step reduction to receive a Class A misdemeanor. A second degree felony would need a two-step reduction to have the charges brought down to a Class A misdemeanor.
An offense may only be reduced by one degree, unless the prosecutor formally agrees (either in writing or court record) that the offense may be reduced by two degrees. No offenses, under the 76-3-402 can be reduced more than two degrees.
Back to Top
Prosecutor Agreement for 402 Reductions
Depending on the circumstances of the felony and its degree, you may have to convince the prosecutor to agree to the reduction. This is where a defense attorney can be especially useful to your case. In other situations, commonly in one-step reduction situations, you may avoid having to seek the prosecutor's agreement. In general, you will be required to have a hearing to convince the judge of the merits of a charge reduction, unless the prosecutor advises that the hearing is not necessary.
Back to Top
402 Reduction and Criminal Record Expungement
A felony charge reduction does not interfere with a person's ability to be granted an expungement (if eligible by law). In fact, it may even expedite the process as the waiting period before being eligible to obtain an expungement is shorter for misdemeanor offenses.
Back to Top
Court Discretion in Charge Reduction
The district court has wide latitude and discretion when imposing a sentence. Although the court must consider all legally relevant factors, if the sentence imposed is not clearly excessive then it will not be overturned on appeal. Even after reviewing all the evidence and testimony presented, the court may find that there is no basis for a reductionin sentence pursuant to section 76-3-402.
Back to Top
Levitt Legal, PLLC | 402 Reduction Lawyer in Salt Lake City
After you complete the conditions of your probation, it's time to consider how you can reduce the impact of the felony charges on your life. Utah's 402 Reduction remains one of the most important options available to anyone charged with a felony offense. Contact a Salt Lake City 402 reduction lawyer to begin this important process. Call 801-455-1743 to speak with a dedicated criminal defense attorney to discuss your eligibility and begin taking the important first steps towards reclaiming your life.