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Burden of Proof - Utah Expungement Attorney

Question: Who bears the burden of proof to in a petition to expunge criminal records in Utah?

Answer: Utah expungement law has changed from time. Previous versions of Utah's expungement statute provided a presumption that if a person qualified for a certificate of eligibility, then the court should grant the requested expungement order unless the prosecutor could demonstrate that expungement was contrary to the public interest.

Criminal Defense Attorney Salt Lake CityCurrent expungement law (as of 2014) has shifted the burden of proof on an expungement petition. Under Utah Code section 77-40-107, the petitioner (person seeking the expungement) must demonstrate by "clear and convincing evidence" that it is "not contrary to the interest of the public to grant the expungement." Unless this standard is met, the court cannot grant the expungement. The standard of "clear and convincing" evidence is the second highest standard of proof imposed under Utah law.

This shift in the burden of proof was challenged in the Utah Court of Appeals case of Horgan v. State, 2012 UT App 216. In this case, the Court of Appeals approved the burden shift, and affirmed the expungement statute that requires the petitioner to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the expungement is not contrary to the public interest.

While the standard is high, the benefits of having an expungement are significant. If that standard is met and the court grants the expungement, then the petitioner is thereafter allowed to "respond to any inquiry as though the arrest or conviction did not occur. (See Utah Code section 77-40-108.)

Finding a Utah Expungement Attorney in Salt Lake City

With a practice based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard provides expungement services to clients throughout Utah. He has been successful in obtaining expungement orders for clients with serious felony conviction, multiple misdemeanor convictions, dismissed cases, and un-charged arrest records.

In addition to expungement petitions, Mr. Howard has assisted clients in restoring expungement eligibility by obtaining 402 reductions in a variety of felony and misdemeanor cases. He works closely with clients to prepare and present their expungement petitions to the court in the best light.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation with Stephen Howard.

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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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