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How do I get a 402 reduction in Utah?

Obtaining a 402 reduction in Utah first requires successful completion of probation, but also requires a motion demonstrating that the reduction in the level of the charge is "in the interests of justice." As a Utah criminal defense attorney based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has obtained 402 reductions for clients on charges including arson, burglary, credit card fraud, drug charges, and many more. To learn if you may be eligible for a Utah 402 reduction and for more information on hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

Requirements for a Utah 402 Reduction

Successful Completion of Probation - The first requirement for obtaining a 402 reduction in Utah is to successfully complete probation. Under a previous version of Utah Code 76-3-402, a person was required to complete probation without any violations. But under a more recent amendment to the statute, a person may be eligible for a reduction in charges even if there were violations during the probation period, so long as the court ultimately determined that probation was "successfully" completed.  With the change in the statute, some people who may have been previously not eligible for a 402 reduction may now be eligible.

"In the Interest of Justice" - While successful completion is a prerequisite to obtaining a 402 reduction, it is not by itself sufficient to support a motion to reduce the level of a conviction. The second requirement for a Utah 402 reduction is that the motion and memorandum filed with the court must demonstrate that the reduction is "in the interest of justice." This standard is not as black-and-white as the question of whether probation was completed successfully. Instead, the court may look at a variety of factors, including any subsequent criminal charges, actions taken by the defendant since completing probation,and other factors determined to be relevant.

Procedure for Filing a 402 Reduction Motion in Utah

When a 402 reduction motion is filed in Utah, it should be accompanied by a legal memorandum in support of the motion. The prosecuting attorney must also be given notice and a copy of the motion and supporting memorandum. The prosecuting attorney may file a memorandum in opposition to the motion, may stipulate to the motion, or may remain silent and file no response. Either party (prosecution or defense) may request a hearing on the motion, where oral arguments may be presented to the court in support of either party's position. A proposed order my be filed contemporaneously with the motion, or the proposed order may be filed following the court hearing.

One Step v. Two Step Reductions

Before filing for a 402 reduction, you should determine whether you need a one-step reduction or a two-step reduction. This will depend on the purpose for which you are trying to obtain the reduction. If you were convicted of a third-degree felony and need to have it reduced to a misdemeanor, you will only need a one-step reduction. If your conviction was on a second-degree level, you will need a two-step reduction to get the charge down to a misdemeanor. If you are trying to accelerate the expungement process for a misdemeanor, a two-step reduction will likely be beneficial, as the waiting time for lower-level misdemeanors is shorter.

If you determine that you need a two-step 402 reduction, you will need to convince the prosecutor to agree (stipulate) to the reduction before your 402 reduction motion can be granted. If you are only seeking a one-step reduction, you may be able to have your motion granted without the prosecutor's agreement. But regardless of whether you are seeking a one-step or two-step reduction, you may still be required to have a hearing on your motion to convince the judge that it is in the "interests of justice" to grant your motion. If you are able to obtain a stipulation from the prosecutor prior to filing your motion, you may be able to skip the hearing process altogether.

Starting the 402 Reduction Process

If you believe that you may be eligible for a 402 reduction, contact us today for an initial consultation. Stephen Howard can usually determine over the phone if you are eligible. If you are eligible, we can immediately begin the process of having your charges reduced. Don't let your criminal record hold you back any longer.

Finding a Utah Criminal Attorney in Salt Lake City

Utah Criminal Attorney Salt LakeStephen Howard is a criminal defense lawyer based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He has defended literally thousands of serious criminal cases during his career.  His record of results in defending clients includes not guilty verdicts or dismissals in cases including aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, drug possession, drug distribution, burglary, forgery, theft, fraud, DUI, domestic violence, and many more.  If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, contact us now to schedule your initial consultation.

RELATED QUESTIONS:
Can a 402 reduction speed up the expungement process?
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How can I get a felony reduced to a misdemeanor in Utah?


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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

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