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Utah Expungement Attorney

Is negligent homicide eligible for expungement?

The offense of negligent homicide under Utah Code 76-5-206 covers cases where a defendant caused the death of another under circumstances that constitute criminal negligence. Any case involving death is serious. But a conviction for negligent homicide may be eligible for expungement.

An experienced criminal attorney can be vital to helping you successfully clear your Utah criminal record. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Expungement Eligibility Requirements

Utah Code 77-40-105 sets out the eligibility for expungement of a criminal conviction. As a general rule, a criminal conviction is eligible for expungement unless specifically excluded from eligibility. Section 77-40-105 refers to a number of specific offenses and classes of offenses that are not eligible for ordinary expungement. These offenses include: a capital felony; a first degree felony; a violent felony (as defined under Utah Code 76-3-203.5); felony automobile homicide; felony DUI; and registrable sex offenses (as defined under Utah Code 77-41-102(7)). Negligent homicide is not mentioned as an offense excluded from eligibility, and therefore should be eligible for expungement.

Confusion on this issue sometimes comes from the prohibition on expungement of a "violent felony" conviction. But the definition of "violent felony" is specifically spelled out in Utah Code 76-3-203.5(1)(c)(i). This section defines "violent felony" as including "criminal homicide offenses under Title 76, Chapter 5, Part 2, Criminal Homicide." Negligent homicide is a criminal homicide offense listed under that title, chapter, and part of the Utah Code. But the definition of "violent felony" also specifically limits itself to violations of the referenced offenses that are "punishable as a felony."

Because negligent homicide under Utah Code 76-5-206 is a class A misdemeanor, it therefore falls outside of the "violent felony" definition of Utah Code 76-3-203.5(1)(c)(i), and should therefore be eligible for expungement under section 77-40-105.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

In addition to addressing the nature of a criminal conviction, expungement eligibility also requires a defendant to meet other requirements. As a class A misdemeanor, negligent homicide requires a five-year waiting period following the closing of the criminal case and the completion of any incarceration or probation period before a certificate of eligibility for expungement can be issued. A person can also be denied a certificate of eligibility if the person's criminal history record contains too many convictions.

The number of convictions allowed will vary based on the level of the offense and the nature of the offense. In cases where there are too many convictions to qualify for expungement, a 402 reduction may sometimes be used to restore expungement eligibility. In other cases, a pardon may provide an alternative method of clearing a criminal record.

Finding a Utah Expungement Attorney

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerIf you are considering petitioning for expungement or otherwise trying to clear or reduce your criminal record, the assistance of an experienced criminal lawyer can be vital. Mistakes in following the required procedures or failing to present sufficient evidence to support the expungement or reduction motion can result in a denial from the court. Utah criminal lawyer Stephen Howard has assisted clients in a variety of circumstances as they have worked to get their past criminal records cleared.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation, and see how we 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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