Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Veteran Criminal Defense Lawyers / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what the right attorney 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 Expungement Attorney Salt Lake

An expungement order can give a person with a criminal history a clean slate. If you are considering begining the expungement petition process in Utah, consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is highly recommended. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation with Salt Lake criminal lawyer Stephen Howard.

What is the intended purpose of the Utah Expungement Act?

Utah's Expungement Act does not contain an explicit statement of the legislature's intended purpose or goal in allowing a person to have his or her criminal record expunged. However, the language of the act provides strong support for the idea that an expungement is intended to allow a person to be freed from the legal restrictions and social stigma that can accompany a criminal conviction or arrest.

Utah courts follow the principle that “[t]he best evidence of the Legislature’s intention is the statute’s plain language.”  State v. LeBeau, 2014 UT 39, 20 (citation omitted). Thus, the language of the Expungement Act itself provides the best evidence of its own purpose.

The Utah Expugnement Act provides that a person whose criminal records have been expunged may “respond to any inquiry as though the arrest or conviction did not occur.” Utah Code 77-40-108(2). This suggests a legislative intent to allow the expungement petitioner to move forward in life “as though the arrest or conviction did not occur.”

For most purposes, a person who has had his or her criminal record expunged is freed from the legal restrictions that accompany a criminal conviction. For example, a person convicted of a felony or of a domestic violence-related misdemeanor charge can be prohibited from owning, possessing, or using a firearm. Obtaining an expungement of that conviction may remove that restriction. A person convicted of a felony may be excluded from potential employment, or may find housing rental applications rejected simply because of the felony conviction. An expungement will allow that person to respond to pre-employment questions or rental applications as though there had never been a felony conviction. There are, however, certain exceptions to this general rule, where a person's criminal history may still be accessed.

In enacting an expungement statute that allows a petitioner to move on “as though the arrest or conviction did not occur,” it appears that the legislature considered how the public interest may be affected by allowing such an expungement. Before an expungement may be granted, the person petitioning for expungement bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the requested expungement is “not contrary to the interests of the public. . . .” Utah Code 77-40-107(8)(d). While the expungement allows a person to be freed from the consequences of a criminal record, the court must first be convinced that in doing so, public safety will not be compromised.

Finding a Criminal Lawyer for Expungements in Utah

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerClearing your record through the expungement process can provide significant benefits. The expungement process can be complex. Having an experienced criminal attorney on your side can help ensure the process goes smoothly.

Contact us today for an initial confidential consultation. We can often tell you over the phone whether you are eligible for an expungement. And if you are not immediately eligibile, we can talk about ways to restore expungement eligibility or alternate methods of clearing your criminal record.

RELATED UTAH EXPUNGEMENT QUESTIONS
Are there exceptions that allow the use of expunged criminal records in Utah?
Is an order under the Utah Expungement Act considered a "complete" expungement?
Which party has the burden of proof in a Utah expungement petition?


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 allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • 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 Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • 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

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case may be the single most important decision you make. The courtroom can be a hostile place. Prosecutors receive extensive training on legal and tactical issues. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical to defending your case and protecting your rights....

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 - Hope

Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are reasons to remain hopeful, and there are things you can do right now that can help increase the odds of a successful outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the various options you have, and can help you....

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.