Mr. Eastman serves as the firm’s managing partner, and is licensed to practice law in California, Oregon, and Texas.
Sam has helped thousands of clients expunge, seal, and set-aside records across the country, and has a passion for criminal justice reform. Previously, Mr. Eastman represented a number of corporate clients, focusing on tax law, mergers and acquisitions, and a variety of corporate transactions.
Mr. Eastman earned his JD and LLM from the University of San Diego School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.
EXPUNGING UTAH CONVICTIONS
Convictions Remain Unless You Expunge Them
If you have a criminal record in Utah, you know how frustrating it can be. Even if you’re only arrested for a crime in Utah, a criminal record is created with the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), who then forwards these records to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, making your records available in a background check.
This Information Is For You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our Secure Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Can You Expunge Your Utah Arrest Record?
Utah law allows for the setting aside of both misdemeanor and felony convictions in many situations under Utah Code Section 77-40-105. However, not every conviction qualifies and there can be some surprisingly complicated rules and procedures. Below is a good summary of the requirements to expunge a conviction in Utah, but our Secure Eligibility Test is likely more accurate.
General Requirements to Expunge Convictions in Utaharrow_drop_down
The basic requirements to expunge a conviction under Utah Code Section 77-40-105 include:
- You have no pending criminal proceedings against you
- You have paid all fines, fees, restitution, and interest imposed by the court
- All terms of your sentence have been successfully completed
- You have never provided false or misleading information on the application for a Certificate of Eligibility for expungement
- The offense you are seeking to expunge is not an
- The relevant waiting period has passed (see below) and
- Your complete criminal history does not disqualify your expungement (see below).
Ineligible Offenses that Cannot Be Expungedarrow_drop_down
The following types of criminal convictions cannot be expunged under current Utah expungement law:
- Capital Felonies, First Degree Felonies, or “Violent Felonies” as defined by Utah Code Section 76-3-203.5 (the list of “Violent Felonies” is linked here)
- Felony Automobile Homicide
- Felony Driving Under the Influence (Utah Code Section 41-6a-501(2))
- A Registerable Sex Offense (Utah Code Section 77-41-102) or
- A Registerable Child Abuse Offense (Utah Code Section 77-43-102).
Note that the above offenses may only be expunged if you have been pardoned by the Governor of Utah prior to May 14, 2013.
Waiting Period to Expunge Convictions in Utaharrow_drop_down
To be eligible to expunge your record, Utah requires that the following time periods elapse from whichever is latest between the date you were convicted or released from incarceration, parole, or probation:
- Driving Under the Influence: 10 years
- Felonies: 7 years
- Drug-Related Felonies: 5 years
- Class A Misdemeanors: 5 years
- Class B Misdemeanors: 4 years
- Class C Misdemeanors: 3 years
- Infractions: 3 years
In some cases, you can file a motion to reduce your conviction by one degree through obtaining what is called a “402 Reduction,” which can often shorten the waiting period required for expungement. For more information on reducing a conviction, please continue reading below.
Criminal History Requirement for Expungement Eligibilityarrow_drop_down
In addition to the above requirements, Utah only allows you to expunge criminal convictions if you have a somewhat limited criminal history.
It is important to keep in mind that each of the criminal history limitations below only take into account separate criminal episodes, which is defined by Utah Code Section 76-1-401 as “all conduct which is closely related in time and is incident to an attempt or an accomplishment of a single criminal objective.”
The following criminal histories would disqualify you from being able to expunge your conviction in Utah:
- Two or more felonies (other than drug possession)
- Three or more crimes (other than drug possession), two of which are Class A Misdemeanors
- Four or more crimes (other than drug possession), three of which are Class B Misdemeanors
- Five or more crimes of any degree (other than drug possession)
- Three or more felonies for drug possession or
- Five or more crimes of any degree for drug possession.
Reducing Your Conviction Can Help You Qualifyarrow_drop_down
In addition to expunging arrest records and convictions, Utah law also allows you to reduce the degree of your criminal conviction through a “402 Motion” or “402 Reduction” by following the requirements contained in Utah Code Section 76-3-402. As discussed above, this can often be very helpful in shortening the waiting period requirement to expunge a conviction. A successful reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor may restore your Second Amendment right to own and possess a firearm as well.
To successfully file a motion to reduce the degree of your conviction by one degree, you must satisfy all three of the following requirements:
- You have successfully completed the terms of your probation
- You have paid all fines and court-ordered restitution, and either
- You were required to register as a sex offender under Utah law, and the registration requirement has expired or
- You were not required to register as a sex offender under Utah law
- The court determines that it is in the interest of justice to reduce the degree of your conviction.
If you meet each of the above requirements and the prosecutor agrees, the court may reduce your conviction by two degrees, however, the court does not have the authority to reduce your conviction by any more than this amount.
The Expungement Processarrow_drop_down
Utah’s expungement process is a little different than most states, and complicated. The process requires that you first file for and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the BCI, then file your Certificate of Eligibility along with a Petition to Expunge Records with the appropriate court and criminal justice agencies. Depending on the response from the prosecutor, you may then have a hearing where a judge will rule on whether to grant your expungement. There are a lot of steps to successfully expunging a criminal record, but you can find a good summary of the legal process in the graphic below.
Legal Effect Of Expunging Your Conviction
Expunging a conviction under Utah law allows you to legally state that you were not arrested and have not been convicted of a crime, and, in many cases, an expungement will restore your firearm rights as well. The two biggest issues our law firm’s clients encounter relate to obtaining employment with a criminal record and restoring their firearm rights, so we’re going to discuss each.
How Will Expunging My Utah Conviction Help Me Get a Job?arrow_drop_down
Expunging a Utah conviction is currently the best way to improve your chances of getting a job when you have a criminal record. You can legally state that the conviction or arrest never occurred, and Utah criminal justice agencies cannot release or make any information related to the expunged matter available. The bottom line is that the expunged criminal record will not appear in virtually any background check related to employment.
However, even after your criminal record has been expunged, the BCI continues to index and maintain expunged criminal records. They are prohibited from releasing this information to the public, but upon special request in limited circumstances, certain government organizations may access expunged information. These organizations include: Board of Pardons and Parole; Peace Officer Standards and Training; certain federal authorities; Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing; and the State Office of Education.
As a result, there are certain occupations requiring Utah state licensing where you may need to disclose the expunged criminal information. These situations are limited, though, and expunging your record should keep that information from the vast majority of potential employers.
Will Expunging My Convicion In Utah Restore My Second Amendment Right to Own and Possess a Firearm?arrow_drop_down
Utah law provides two main ways to restore your firearm rights, by expungement or by pardon from the Governor. There is legal authority indicating that a 402 reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor may also a viable way to restore your Second Amendment rights. Pardons are granted very infrequently in Utah, so, if your firearm rights were taken away due to a felony conviction, the easiest and most common way to restore firearms in Utah is through expungement.
Not everybody with a felony conviction can restore their constitutional right to own or possess firearms, but Utah’s laws are favorable when compared to other states. It should be noted that you can almost never restore firearm rights based on federal convictions, and it can be very difficult if your Second Amendment rights were taken away due to a domestic violence conviction.
Restoring firearm rights involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the Potential Benefits of Expunging Your Conviction in Utah Include:
- Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Restoring your Second Amendment Rights to own a firearm
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
We Are Here to Help
Each of Utah's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Utah criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Utah criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Utah criminal record.