Reducing A Felony Conviction With A 402 Motion

The adverse collateral consequences of a felony conviction can last for years, if not a lifetime. The severity of these consequences can only truly be understood by those have endured the hardships associated with post-prison life. 

Some of the enduring consequences of a felony conviction include:

  • Harm to your integrity and reputation
  • Severe reduction of employment opportunities
  • Loss of the right to vote
  • Loss of a professional permit or other certification requiring a background check

In contrast to a felony, a misdemeanor is a level of offense that doesn’t carry nearly the same negative implications. 

Filing a 402 motion

Under Utah law, if your attorney files a so-called “402 motion” on your behalf, a court will consider your background and character and the nature and circumstances of the criminal offense that you have committed. If it concludes it would be unduly harsh to establish the level of offense of your crime as a felony, it may grant the motion and enter a judgment of conviction for the next lower degree of offense.

In this regard, a 402 motion can reduce a felony conviction to the level of a misdemeanor. The court can grant the motion either at the time of sentencing or at the completion of probation, depending on when the motion is filed.

Having your felony conviction successfully reduced to a misdemeanor can have a tremendously positive impact on the rest of your life. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, contact a criminal defense attorney to see if you can have your conviction level reduced with a 402 motion. The skilled defense attorneys at Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen will work diligently to help you limit the harsh collateral consequences associated with your conviction.