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What Does It Mean To Have A Criminal Record Expunged?


It means that the digital record of the case no longer appears in the clerk docketing system. It means that the agency involved, when it’s done properly will no longer have a record of the case whether it be the prosecuting agency or law enforcement agency and most importantly, the Bureau of Criminal Identification or BCI. The physical file in the clerk’s office becomes sealed with a notice that it is not to be opened unless by order of the clerk. So it’s the same as record sealing in other states.

How Does Having A Record Sealed Compare To Having A Record Expunged In Utah?

It’s basically the same.

What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Having A Record Expunged?

The biggest one has to do with the very few exceptions that apply to the expungement. In other words, the rare exception where somebody can access an expunged record. Although they are few they do exist in some important circumstances. For instance, in a situation with an immigration application where somebody is trying to naturalize as a US citizen when they have problematic convictions on their records. Those convictions will be required to be disclosed whether or not they have been expunged. In other words, oftentimes for immigration purposes, an expungement makes no difference whatsoever. Other examples of times where an expunged record would still be required to be disclosed as for applications to several government positions oftentimes whether it be federal law enforcement or any other position in the federal government like military armed forces.

That’s where oftentimes people are surprised with the exceptions to the record expungement law. Some other instances, for example, are when people get to take professional licensing board exams. For instance when I applied to be a lawyer, sit for the board exam to be a lawyer, they asked me to disclose my entire history with the caveat of whether or not it has been expunged. So people applying for medical licenses or accountant licenses or any kind of professional license, the application may include the caveat that you should disclose your record even if it’s been expunged.

What Types Of Records Can And Cannot Be Expunged?

By statute, Utah Code 77-40-105, it spells out the kinds of cases in which the certificate of eligibility cannot be issued. Those include a capital felony, a first degree felony, a violent felony, felony automobile homicide, felony DUI, registrable sex offense and a registrable child abuse offense. A person is also not eligible if they have a pending criminal proceeding.

If I Was Arrested But The Case Was Dismissed But There Is An Arrest Record. Can It Be Expunged?

Absolutely. There is a mechanism in the statute that provides for a person to be able to remove a record of an arrest or a citation even in the vent that charges were never filed. If it’s the other way around and the person is arrested and there is charges that were either dismissed or there was no conviction then expunging the record would remove a record of the arrest as well assuming that it’s done properly and the arresting agency gets a notice of the expungement order.

Are There Any Charges Or Convictions That Automatically Get Expunged After A Period Of Time?

No there are not. Not in Utah.

Are Certain Charges Easier Than Others To Get Expunged In Utah?

No there are not really any that are harder than others. It’s more just a matter of the statutory waiting time having gone by. I have run into some very rare instances where prosecutors have objected to the expungement petition on the basis that the charges are enhance-able through subsequent convictions but that’s very rare.

Can I Have A Prior Record Expunged During An Ongoing Criminal Case In Utah?

It will bar you. If you have a pending case then you are not eligible to expunge anything. The point of that is that a person can’t, while charges are pending go and clean up their criminal history and get a better outcome of the pending charges.

For more information on Having A Criminal Record Expunged, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 455-1743 today.

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