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.
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