Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Utah Criminal Defense - Expungements and Dismissals

Even if a criminal case has been dismissed, it may still show on your criminal history report. Petitioning the court for expungement can help give you a clean criminal record.

Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has assisted clients in expunging a variety of felony and misdemeanor cases. He can also assist you in restoring expungement eligibility, filing for a 402 reduction, or preparing an application for pardon. Contact us now for an initial consultation.

Do I need to expunge a criminal charge if the case was dismissed?

Posted by Stephen W. Howard

Over the years, I have heard people make statements that indicate a mistaken belief that once a case is dismissed, their criminal record is clear. I even heard a justice court judge recently make a similar statement from the bench, incorrectly informing a defendant (not my client) that the plea in abeyance would essentially disappear from his record if he complied with the conditions imposed by the court. This is not accurate.

Whether the case was dismissed following a not guilty verdict at trial, a successful motion to suppress evidence, completion of the terms of a plea in abeyance, or any other reason, a petition for formal expungement is still necessary to have the case records sealed and your criminal history cleared. There may be circumstances where a dismissed case will not show up on a criminal history report. But there are plenty of circumstances where the existence of the dismissed case can still show up and cause problems.

I recently worked with an individual who had no prior "convictions" on his record - but he did have two prior charges where he had entered into an agreement where pleas were held in abeyance and the two cases were ultimately dismissed. Unfortunately, a couple of years later, he was arrested and found himself facing new criminal charges.

If he had taken the time previously to get his dismissed cases expunged, odds are very good that the prosecutor never would have known that he had a prior criminal history. From what the prosecutor would have likely seen, this person would have looked like a first-time offender.

The prior charges were not of a nature that the prosecutor could have used the charges against the person in trial. But they certainly factored into the prosecutor's decision-making process as we went through the negotiation process to see if the case could be resolved.

In short, if you are eligible to get a criminal case expunged, DO IT - even if it is "just" a dismissed case. Give yourself a clean record and a fresh start.

Choosing a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerUtah criminal attorney Stephen Howard can help you understand your options for clearing your record - including expungements, 402 reductions, and pardons. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.
RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE QUESTIONS


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
  • Utah Expungement Lawyer Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
  • Recent Posts
  • What Constitutes Drug Parpahernalia in Utah How is drug paraphernalia defined in Utah? - The definition of drug paraphernalia under the Utah criminal code looks at both the nature of the object and also the intended use of the object in question. . . .
  • Utah Misdemeanor Attorney Salt Lake Can I handle a Utah misdemeanor from out-of-state? - Even if you do not intend to take your case to trial, a misdemeanor criminal offense in Utah can require multiple court appearances to reach a resolution. If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, but are not a Utah resident, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you resolve the case without returning to the state. . . .
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

The right criminal defense lawyer can work with you to develop a defense strategy designed to achieve the best results. Hiring a Utah criminal attorney with real courtroom experience and an in-depth understanding of the legal issues involved in defending against a criminal prosecution can help ensure the best...

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Our criminal defense lawyers have represented clients facing some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Whether you are facing prosecution for felony or misdemeanor charges, you can be assured that our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and determination necessary to help you achieve the results you need. Choosing the best defense attorney for your case will be one of the most important decisions you make....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Even a single misdemeanor conviction in Utah can result in extended jail time and substantial fines. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can last a lifetime. Whether you are facing misdemeanor prosecution in a justice court or more serious felony charges in the district court, obtaining advice and assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney is....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

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

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.