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Utah Expungement Issues and Questions

The following question was raised by someone who had found information about expungement eligibility on a local municipality's court information website. The information online was inaccurate and out-dated. Online information can be helpful, but is also often incorrect, misleading, and confusing. Laws change with relative frequency, and consultation with an experienced attorney is vital to ensuring that you have the legal advice and assistance you need. Contact us today to see how we can help you with the Utah expungement process.

Posted November 22, 2017

I was looking at the court's website, and the information there says I am not eligible for expungement because I have more than two class B misdemeanor convictions. Is this correct?

In most circumstances, having two class B misdemeanor convictions will not disqualify you from expungement eligibility. The municipality's website for court information appears to be based on an out-dated statute, an incorrect analysis, and/or a basic misunderstanding of how eligibility is determined. The website in question stated that you may be eligible for expungement of a conviction "if . . . [y]ou have no more than one felony or two class A or B misdemeanor convictions." This is simply wrong, and presents a good example of why having seeking legal counsel and obtaining competent representation from a qualified lawyer is critical.

Determining eligibility for expungement is a more complicated process, and depends on several factors, including: the number of convictions involved, the level of the offense (misdemeanor, felony, etc.), the nature of the convictions (violent felony, DUI, registrable offenses, drug charges, administrative violations, traffic offenses, infraction, etc.), the length of time since the conviction for which expungement is sought, and the length of time that a person has gone with no further criminal convictions. The language from the court website was also misleading, in that eligibility is not based on the number of "convictions" but instead on the number of criminal episodes involving a conviction. For example, two class B misdemeanor convictions for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia will count as only one "conviction" if the offenses were committed as part of a single criminal episode (usually determined by whether they were filed in a single court case).

In recent years, the Utah Legislature has modified the expungement eligibility statutes to provide better expungement opportunities for individuals who have turned their lives around. In addition to treating drug possession crimes under a separate eligibility category, the Legislature has also designated a variety of administrative misdemeanor offenses as no longer counting against eligibility requirements. Also, the legislature has expanded the number of convictions that can be expunged if the petitioner has remained crime-free for ten years or more.

The benefits of obtaining an expungement can be great. Rather than relying on information found online, you will be better off seeking the advice and assistance of an attorney experienced in handling expungements, 402 reductions, and pardons.

Finding an Expungement Attorney in Utah

Salt Lake Criminal Defense AttorneyA criminal conviction can have serious consequences that affect your life long after the court case is closed. Having your record expunged can clear your record and bring you closer to finally putting the past behind you. We can often tell you right over the phone if you are eligible for expungement. Contact us today to see how the right attorney can help you.


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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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