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Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake

Without the stipulation or consent of the prosecutor on a petition for expungement, the court may require a formal hearing to determine whether the expungement should be granted. This page presents information on the burden of proof in a Utah expungement petition. For assistance in filing a petition for expungement in Utah, contact Salt Lake criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.

Who carries the burden of proof in a petition for expungement?

The burden of proof in an expungement is on the petitioner. Utah Code 77-40-107(8)(d); Horgan v. State, 2012 UT App 216  2-4, 284 P.3d 722. Unless the petitioner can show by “clear and convincing evidence” that it is “not contrary to the interests of the public to grant the expungement,” an expungement can not be granted. Id.

This is a reversal from former versions of Utah's expungmenet statutes, which previously provided that the obtaining of a certificate of eligibility essentially created a presumption that the expungment should be granted. The expungement petition would only be denied if the prosecutor could meet the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the requested expungement was contrary to the public interest. By inserting the word "not" and shifting the burden of proof to the defendant, the legislature greatly increased the requirement for obtaining an expungement.

The standard of “clear and convincing evidence” is second only under Utah law to the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required for a criminal conviction. See, Essential Botanical Farms v. Kay, 2011 UT 71, 21 (Utah 2011). Utah courts have stated that the “clear and convincing evidence” standard is required when the interests at stake are “particularly important.” Id.

Thus, the statute imposes a significant burden on a petitioner to show that it is “not contrary to the interests of the public to grant the expungement.” Utah Code 77-40-107(8)(d). Only if that standard is met can the records of the petitioner’s criminal arrest and conviction be expunged. And only if that standard is met will the petitioner thenceforward be allowed to “respond to any inquiry as though the arrest or conviction did not occur.” Utah Code 77-40-108(2).

Finding a Utah Criminal Lawyer for Expungements

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerSimply obtaining a certificate of eligibility for expungement from Utah BCI does not guarantee that the court will grant the expungement petition. Having the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney can help give you the best chance of successfully obtaining an expungement of your criminal record. Salt Lake criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has successfully obtained expungement orders for clients in a variety of felony and misdemeanor cases.

If you are considering filing for expungement in Utah, contact us for an initial consutlation. We can often tell you right over the phone whether you are eligible for expungment. And if you are not eligible for expungement, we can discuss alternative methods of clearing your criminal record such as a pardon or 402 reduction.

RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE QUESTIONS
What is the effect of an expungement on my Utah criminal record?
How do I find out if I am eligible for expunement?
Is a Utah expugement considered a complete 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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