Exciting news for anyone who has served prison time and then successfully completed parole! Utah’s legislature in 2021 enacted amendments that now allow a 402 reduction after successfully completing either probation OR parole.
Utah Code 76-3-402 – Probation or Parole
Utah Code 76-3-402 now allows a person who has served their prison time and successfully completed parole to request a reduction in the level of the conviction. This can have HUGE benefits by reducing certain felony convictions down to the misdemeanor level.
The law previously distinguished between parole and probation, and allowed reductions only after successfully completing probation. This meant that someone who was never given a chance at probation or who violated probation and went to prison could not qualify for a reduction. Under the new law, if you serve your prison sentence and then successfully complete parole, you still qualify to request the reduction.
Instead of making technical distinctions between “probation” or “parole” the law now focuses on whether the person has made changes and turned their life around. Under the new law, when you successfully complete either probation OR parole, you can get that reduction if the court finds that it is “in the interest of justice.”
Jurisdiction for the District Court
As a general rule, the district court loses jurisdiction over a criminal case if the defendant is sentenced to prison (not a “suspended” prison term). Under Utah’s indeterminate sentencing system, the Board of Pardons and Parole then has jurisdiction to determine how much of a prison sentence will actually be served, whether the person will be given a chance on parole, what conditions will be imposed on parole, when parole will begin, and how long parole will last. But under the 2021 amendments, the legislature has explicitly given the original sentencing court jurisdiction over a request under Utah Code 76-3-402 to reduce the level of a conviction, even after serving prison time and on successful completion of parole.