A clean record can give you a fresh start. Utah law allows a court to order an expungement of government records of an arrest or conviction. As a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys, the Canyons Law Group has assisted clients in expunging criminal histories that have included serious felony convictions and multiple misdemeanor arrests.
Contact us today, and we can usually tell you right over the phone whether you are eligible for a Utah expungement. If you are not eligible for a traditional court-ordered expungement, there may be other options to consider.
The defense team at Canyons Law Group provides services to clients in expungements and other criminal defense matters throughout Utah. We are also happy to work with out-of-state clients who have current criminal cases or prior criminal records in Utah.
Obtaining an Expungement Order in Utah
The three main steps of the expungement process are:
- Obtaining a certificate of eligibility for expungement from BCI.
- Filing a formal petition and attending court hearings.
- Distributing certified copies of all expungement orders.
BCI Certificate of Eligibility for Expungement
Utah’s BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) is the agency responsible for maintaining criminal history records. BCI is also tasked with making initial determinations of eligibility for expungement.
When an application for issuance of a certificate of eligibility for expungement is submitted, BCI begins a background check process that includes their own criminal history records, Utah district court and justice court records, criminal history information from other states, as well as records from the federal government.
BCI charges an initial fee just to process the application. If BCI determines that a person is in fact eligible for expungement, they can issue a separate certificate of eligibility for each individual conviction or arrest. BCI imposes an additional charge for each certificate issued.
Filing a Petition for Expungement
Once a certificate of eligibility is issued, a formal petition for expungement must be filed with the court in which the conviction occurred or case was filed, or in the district court for the county in which an arrest occurred that did not result in the filing of charges.
The petition must demonstrate, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that the requested expungement is “not contrary to the public interest.” If the petition itself is sufficiently persuasive, the prosecutor may agree to the expungement and the court may grant the expungement without a hearing. If the prosecutor objects, or if the court has questions or concerns, a formal hearing on the petition should be scheduled.
Distribution of Expungement Orders
If the court grants the petition and orders records expunged, the petitioner is responsible for obtaining certified copies of the expungement order and distributing them to the appropriate government agencies. (Ordinary photocopies are not sufficient.)
Agencies that should receive a certified copy of the expungement order may include: BCI, the arresting police agency, the offices of the prosecuting attorney, the county jail/sheriff with jurisdiction over the matter, any other county jail that may have booking record, the Department of Corrections (if AP&P was involved or if prison time was served), and any other government agency that has records of the criminal conviction or arrest.