Expungement & When You Need It

Expungement is a process ordered by the court in which a person’s legal record for an arrest or a criminal conviction is sealed or erased.  When a legal record is expunged, the process may also be called “setting aside a criminal conviction.”

What Does Getting Your Record Expunged Mean?

With an Expungement, the court orders the history of a case and criminal record to be sealed. This includes any records of the arrest, detention, information regarding the investigation and any conviction or verdict found. In most cases, no record of an expunged arrest or conviction will appear if an individual check is performed. Such as when a potential employer, educational institution, or other company conducts a public records inspection or background search.  After an expungement, some government agencies can still view and copy the sealed record. In addition, the FBI could also have records of a case even if it was expunged by the state.

Asking For An Expungement

Most often you can ask for an expungement for an investigation, arrest, and for jail time for a crime with no conviction if: at least 30 days have passed after the arrest, there are no criminal cases pending, and one of the following happened:

  • No charges were filed
  • Charges were filed, but the case was dismissed with prejudice
  • charges were filed, but the case was dismissed without prejudice or without condition, and
  • The prosecutor agrees in writing to a certificate of eligibility, or
  • At least 180 days have passed from which the case was dismissed
  • Charges were filed, but the person was cleared at trial, or the statute of limitations expired

Can all Criminal Convictions Be Expunged?

Not all criminal conviction records can be expunged. A person must pay all their fees, fines, or fix anything related to the criminal offense they want to expunge. A person may request for the case be dismissed by filing a Motion to Dismiss. In addition, you cannot expunge records for the following crimes unless the offense has been pardoned:

  • Capital felony, violent felony car homicide or a first-degree felony
  • Violation of driving under the influence
  • Registerable sex offense
  • Registerable child abuse offense

To find out more about additional conditions, see the Utah Code Section for a complete list.

Effects of an Expungement

An arrest or a criminal conviction ordinarily does not need to be disclosed once an expungement is complete. As a result, a person with an expungement does not need to disclose convictions when filling out an application for a job or an apartment.

Get Legal Help 

The laws pertaining to expungement in each State can vary. Each jurisdiction may have a different set of requirements in order for an expungement to be granted. For the best legal advice, it’s a good idea to contact a criminal defense attorney who can advise you about your state laws. They can talk to you about having your prior conviction expunged while considering the facts of your case and Utah expungement rules.  For top legal representation, you will want an experienced lawyer to go over your case. When it comes to answering questions about expungement, give Larsen, Larsen, Nash, & Larsen a call today at (801) 204-9224.

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