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Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Salt Lake 402 Reduction Attorney - Felonies - Misdemeanors

A 402 reduction motion can be used to reduce many Utah felony convictions to the misdemeanor level. In some circumstances, a 402 reduction may restore your eligibility for expungement, or may shorten the waiting time to petition for expungement. As an experienced Salt Lake criminal defense attorney, Stephen Howard has successfully filed many 402 reduction motions for people with a variety of prior convictions. We can often tell you over the phone if you qualify for a 402 reduction. Contact us today to learn more.

Benefits of a 402 Reduction in Utah

One of the most common reasons to request a 402 reduction under Utah law is to have felony charges reduced to the misdemeanor level. But a 402 reduction can also sometimes be used to restore a person's eligibility for expungement. By reducing the level of a conviction, a person may also be able to shorten the waiting period for expungement eligibility.

Qualifying for a 402 Reduction in Utah

As a preliminary qualification for most 402 reduction motions, Utah law requires first that you successfully complete probation. But a 402 reduction is not granted automatically. If you have completed probation successfully, Utah law next requires that you file an appropriate motion with the court, that demonstrates that the reduction of your charges is "in the interest of justice."

Utah Code section 76-3-402 previously required that probation be completed without any violations before a person could qualify for a reduction in the level of charges. But the Utah legislature has changed this statute to allow a reduction in charges if probation is completed successfully. This change allows individuals to qualify for a reduction, even if they may have had a few problems while on probation or even had orders to show cause, as long as they ultimately got back on track and completed probation successfully.

While completing probation successfully is a prerequisite to getting the level of your charges reduced, it is not enough by itself. The court must also be convinced that it is "in the interest of justice" to grant the reduction. Successful completion of probation is typically a black-and-white question. But the question of what is "in the interest of justice" is a much more vague issue. Judges and prosecutors often consider a variety of factors in addressing this issue.

For purposes of a 402 reduction motion, Utah law makes a distinction between parole and probation. If a person has been sent to prison, the convictions that resulted in the prison sentence are not eligible for reduction under Utah Code section 76-3-402 - even if the person successfully completed parole. But after serving a prison sentence, a person may still be eligible for an expungement or for pardon through the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.

One-Step and Two-Step Reductions under Utah Code 76-3-402

Utah Code section 76-3-402 allows a court to reduce the level of a conviction by either one or two degrees. A two-step reduction requires the agreement of the prosecutor. But a one-step reduction can be granted by the court even over the objection of a prosecutor.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

As a criminal defense attorney based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard offers services to clients throughout Utah. He has assisted clients in successfully obtaining 402 reductions in a wide variety of cases. Contact us now to see if you are eligible for a 402 reduction.


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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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