Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our criminal defense 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

Expungement Eligibility on Unfiled Charges in Utah

Question: I was arrested on a misdemeanor, but charges were not filed. I applied to BCI for a certificate of eligibility for expungment, and received a letter saying that I had to wait two years before I would be eligible for expungement. Why?

Answer: Eligiblity for expungement of criminal case records not involving a conviction is governed by Utah Code 77-40-104. Under this section of the Utah Expungement Act, a person is eligible for expungement of records not involving a conviction if: 1) the criminal court case has been dismised with prejudice; 2) the statute of limitations period for the charge has run and no charges have been filed; or 3) the case has been screened by the office of the prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction over the matter and a final decision not to file charges has been made.

If BCI has denied your application for a certificate of eligiblity for expungement on a misdemeanor charge that was not filed, it is likely that the denial is based on the statute of limitations period. You can simply wait for the limitations period to expire and reapply for a certificate of eligibility or you may attempt to seek certification from the prosecutor that the case has been screened an a final decision not to prosecute has been made. Consultation with an experienced criminal attorney to determine which strategy is best for your situation can be an important part of the expungement process. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Waiting for the Limitations Period to Expire

Most misdemeanor charges in Utah have a limitations period of two years. In most cases, this period will begin to run from the time of the alleged offense. Thus, if no criminal court case is filed and if the prosecutor is unwilling to certify that a final decision has been made not to file charges, then in two years from the time of the alleged offense BCI should be able to issue a certificate of eligibility for expungement.

Felony charges have a longer statute of limitations period than most misdemeanors. Some of the most serious felony charges (e.g. murder, rape, and sexual offenses) have no limitations period and can be filed at any time. The most common limitations period for a felony is four years. If the limitations period has run with no court case being filed, BCI should issue a certificate of eligibility. In cases involving an unfiled charge with no limitations period, before issuing a certificate of eligibility BCI may require a letter from the prosecution certifying that the case has been reviewed and a final decison not to file a court case has been made.

Seeking Certification from the Prosecutor

In order to achieve expungement eligibility before the statute of limitations has run or in cases involving charges with no limitations period, it may be necessary to seek certification from the prosecutor that no charges will be filed. It is not sufficient to show only that no charge have been filed. Instead, the prosecuting attorney with jurisdiction over the case must certify that the case has been screened and reviewed, and that a final decision has been made not to file charges. Before making a decision to seek this certification from the prosecutor, it should be understood that taking this action will bring the case to the prosecutor's attention and could increase the risk that criminal charges will be filed. In such circumstances it may be better and safer to wait for the statute of limitations period to run.

Finding a Utah Expungement Attorney

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerNavigating the expungement process in Utah is not always easy. Consultation with an experienced expungement attorney is important in determining how best to proceed in petitioning the court for expungement of your criminal records. Even in circumstances where you may not be eligible for expungement, other options including a 402 reduction or pardon may be available to help clear your criminal record.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.

RELATED UTAH EXPUNGEMENT QUESTIONS
How do I determine whether I am eligible for expungement?
Who has the burden of proof on a Utah expungement petition?
Are there exceptions that allow release of expunged criminal records in Utah?
Is there a separate process for obtaining expungement of juvenile records?


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 alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
  • Utah Expungement Lawyer Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • 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 Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Our criminal defense lawyers have represented clients facing some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Whether you are facing prosecution for felony or misdemeanor charges, you can be assured that our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and determination necessary to help you achieve the results you need. Choosing the best defense attorney for your case will be one of the most important decisions you make....

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 »
Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah - Reasons to Hope

Clients sometimes ask what the "worst case scenario" is for their charges. We prefer to take a more positive approach. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. But you can take steps and make choices right now that will improve your chances of a positive outcome. Let us 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.