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Criminal Backgrounds Checks in Utah

Will an employer or landlord in Utah see my criminal conviction after seven years?

Private employers and landlords can use different methods to do background checks. Depending on the method used and the information requested, employers and landlords can obtain different results from a criminal background check.

Many employers and landlords in Utah contract with private companies to perform background checks on potential renters or employees. Some background searches are voluntarily limited to the last seven years, five years, etc. But court records regarding a criminal conviction are considered public records until they are sealed through the expungement process. Thus if a private individual, employer, landlord, etc. digs deeply enough, criminal conviction records can still be found after seven years, ten years, or even longer.

Doesn't my criminal record automatically clear itself after a certain period of time?

There is a common misconception regarding Utah criminal records - a mistaken belief that criminal convictions automatically disappear from a person's criminal record after a period of time. Unlike a traffic record, where "points" automatically "fall off" your record after a certain period of time, Utah criminal records remain available to the public until a formal expungement process is completed.

Expungement in Utah requires an initial application process with BCI followed by a formal petition for expungement filed with the court where the conviction occurred. Successful expungement of a criminal record requires strict compliance with legal processes. Missing a step in the process can result in criminal records continuing to be readily accessible to the public.

How long do I have to wait to get my record expunged?

The waiting period for expungement eligibility depends on the nature and level of the offense. The general waiting time ranges from seven years for felony convictions to three years for class C misdemeanor and infraction convictions. DUI convictions require a ten-year waiting period. Cases that have been dismissed with prejudice are eligible for expungement after just 30 days. In some cases, the waiting period to expunge a conviction can be reduced by filing a 402 reduction motion.

Is there a way to view my own criminal history in Utah to confirm that it is accurate?

For a relatively reasonable fee and some modest hoop-jumping, Utah BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) will provide you with a copy of your own criminal history (not someone else's) to review. Other states provide a similar service for their own state criminal records. For national criminal records, the FBI can provide what is called an "Identity History Summary." More information on obtaining your Utah criminal history is available directly from BCI.

Finding a Criminal Lawyer for Expungements in Utah

Salt Lake Criminal LawyerThe information on this page is general in nature. For advice specific to your situation and assistance with clearing your criminal record, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

With a practice based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has assisted clients in expunging a wide variety of criminal cases throughout Utah. If you have moved out-of-state, we can often complete the expungement process without requiring you to return to Utah for any court hearings.

If you have a criminal record that continues to cause problems for you, contact us today to learn how we can help you with an expungement or 402 reduction.

How do I get a 402 reduction in Utah?
Do I need a lawyer for a Utah expungement?
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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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