Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Take the first step in securing a successful defense.
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

Plea in Abeyance - Utah Criminal Background Check

Will a plea in abeyance show up on my criminal background check?

It is commonly believed that when a plea has been held in abeyance in a criminal case, and the charges are ultimately dismissed, that the case will not appear on a criminal background check. This is incorrect. An expungement is needed to more thoroughly clear your criminal history and allow you to have a clean criminal background check. We can help you obtain an expungement and clear your criminal record.

Contact us today to see how we can help expunge your criminal record.

What will appear on my pre-employment criminal background check?

What shows up on a criminal background check can depend both on the status of your case as well as what information is being sought. Understanding the processes involved in a plea in abeyance can help you know what will appear on your background check.

Many employers request a criminal background check that only looks for convictions. If a plea has been held in abeyance, it should not appear on a criminal history report as a conviction - even before the case has been dismissed. Although a plea in abeyance does involve the acceptance of a plea (either guilty or no contest) by the court, the court does not take the next step of entering the plea as a conviction. Instead the plea is held "in abeyance" pursuant to the terms of an agreement entered into by the defense and prosecution. So although the case may still be a matter of public record, it should not show up on a criminal background check that is only looking for convictions.

Some employers are interested in learning as much as possible about a prospective employee. Such employers may conduct a criminal background check that looks for arrests, court cases, or active arrest warrants. Where a plea has been held in abeyance, even after the case has been dismissed, it can still show up on this kind of background check.

How do I clear my record after a plea in abeyance is dismissed?

Expungement provides the most direct avenue for clearing your record following a successful plea in abeyance. Once the case has been dismissed, a thirty-day waiting period is required before a defendant can apply for a certificate of eligibility. (This is much shorter than the three-to-ten year period required to be eligible to have most convictions expunged.)

The expungement process begins with an application to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) for a certificate of eligibility for expungement. But this is only the beginning of the process. A formal petition to expunge records must be filed with the court, along with other documents required for the prosecutor. Following through on all aspects of the process is necessary to complete the expungement and obtain a clear criminal history report.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerIf you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, a plea in abeyance may provide a good alternative to resolving the case without a full jury trial. But even after a case has dismissed, an expungement is necessary to complete the process of clearing your official criminal history report. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, Stephen Howard has assisted clients and defended their rights from initial police investigations through dismissals and expungements of their records.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation, and see what we can do to help you.

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 AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • 402 Reduction Lawyer Utah 2-Step Reduction - Client needed a two-step reduction to bring a prior conviction to the misdemeanor level. Collection of substantial evidence of reform and rehabilitation convinced a normally reluctant prosecutor to stipulate to the defense 402 reduction motion.
  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

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.