Can a violent felony be expunged?

Stephen Howard — Stone River Law

Real Experience. Real Results.

Can a violent felony be expunged?

No and yes. The Utah Expungement Act prevents the direct expungement of felony convictions that are classified as violent felonies. However, there are potential alternatives that can ultimately result in expungement of the conviction.

If the person successfully completed probation or parole in the case, a 402 motion can be filed to reduce the level of the conviction. If the charge is reduced to the misdemeanor level, it no longer counts as a felony even though the nature of the charge remains the same. If the conviction no longer involves a violent felony, the case may now be eligible for expungement.

The pardon process offers an alternative method of clearing a criminal record. If a significant period of time has passed without further criminal activity and if the person can demonstrate that public safety will not be harmed and that the person otherwise deserves to have their record cleared, the Board of Pardons has authority to expunge records even when the courts may lack that authority.