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Expunging Violent Felonies in Ogden

There is good news and bad news on the question of whether a violent felony can be expunged in Ogden (or anywhere in Utah for that matter). The bad news is that a felony conviction classified as a "violent felony" under Utah law cannot be expunged through the courts. But the good news is that a good criminal attorney may be able to help you find ways around this prohibition.

Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has assisted clients in clearing their records of a variety of serious felony and misdemeanor charges, including "violent felony" charges. We provide legal services to clients in Ogden and throughout Utah. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Statutory Rules on Expungement of Violent Felonies

Utah Expungements in OgdenExpungement eligibility requirements for criminal cases involving a conviction are established by Utah Code 77-40-105. Under this law, a standard felony conviction requires a minimum seven-year waiting period before the felony conviction can be eligible for expungement. But this statute also bars BCI from issuing a certificate of eligibility and prohibits the courts in Ogden from entering an expungement order for any conviction classified as a "violent felony." For purposes of expungement eligibility, the term “violent felony” is defined by Utah Code 76-3-203.5 and covers a wide variety of felony offenses including (but not limited to) convictions for robbery, burglary, arson, aggravated assault, child abuse, domestic violence, homicide, kidnapping, rape or other sex offenses, stalking, witness tampering, and various weapons offenses.

402 Reductions and Restoring Expungement Eligibility

A person who has successfully completed probation may be eligible to have the level of the conviction reduced by up to two steps under Utah Code 76-3-402. In cases involving a violent felony conviction, this "402" reduction can result in the felony being reduced to the misdemeanor level. Assuming that other eligibility requirements are met, this reduction can restore expungement eligibility in many cases.

In determining whether a person is eligible for expungement, courts in Ogden and BCI must consider the current status of the conviction rather than the nature and level of the offense that was originally charged. Thus, if a violent felony is reduced to the misdemeanor level through the initial plea negotiations process or following a felony conviction by way of a 402 reduction, neither BCI nor the courts will treat the case as a felony.

The Pardon Process and Expungements

Utah law recognizes that there are individuals who will not meet the statutory requirements for expungement eligibility, but may still deserve to have their records cleaned. Utah law involves a black-and-white set of rules which BCI must follow in determining expungement eligibility. Not even the courts have authority or discretion to expunge an Ogden criminal conviction if the eligibility requirements are not met.

However, Utah law also provides the Board of Pardons and Parole with the authority and the discretion to enter a pardon order for individuals who have demonstrated that they deserve a clean record. Previous versions of Utah's laws governing pardons provided only that a pardon would restore a person's eligibility for expungement. But more recent changes to the pardon laws provide instead that the Board's pardon has the same effect as an expungement order.

Finding an Expungement Attorney for Ogden

Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has assisted helped clients clear their criminal records involving serious violent felonies, multiple convictions, and other complex situations. If you have been convicted of a violent felony in Ogden or believe that you are not eligible for expungement for other reasons, call us today. We can often tell you over the phone if there may be other ways of clearing your criminal record.


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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.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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