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An expungement of a criminal record opens up tremendous opportunities in terms of employment and social status. A standing criminal record hinders opportunities from renting an apartment to coaching a child’s little league team. In today’s information age, prospective employers and clients can easily check on a person’s criminal history. It’s important to have them sealed as soon as it is lawfully possible. At Schmidt Law Firm, we can provide advice. And assistance to help you navigate the legal system effectively.
Criminal record expungement seals past arrests and convictions. In Utah, people must fill out an application through the Department of Public Safety, specifically Criminal Identification (BCI) , provide a valid ID, fingerprints and pay $50 to start the process. It can take anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks to receive a response about an application. You will receive a letter indicating that you are eligible. Then you can take that to the court clerk and proceed to get an order of expungement from a judge. While the state doesn’t require an attorney, it is generally a good idea to have legal representation in Utah. No requirements for Judges to provide an order. They can exercise judicial discretion and deny any application. Keep in mind that, if successful, each particular agency and police department must be notified in order to seal the records. It doesn’t happen automatically.
Common expunged offenses in Utah include misdemeanors. These range from motor vehicle infractions such as driving with a suspended license to disorderly conduct. Sentences of one year or less eligible for expungement in Utah after five years or fewer have passed from the end of the sentence. In felony convictions, a person must wait at least seven years before starting the expungement process. In dismissed cases, the statutes of limitations run out, a defendant acquitted, or charges filed with a court, then an arrest record can be expunged after 30 days have passed.
There are also certain crimes that the State of Utah will not expunge if convicted of, such as capital or violent felonies, automobile homicide, felony driving under the influence and the records of registered sex offenders. Also, if a person has been convicted of two or more felonies or multiple misdemeanors, eligibility decreases.
Having a clean record has many perks. When filling out job applications, you can now lawfully check the box that you have no prior criminal arrests or convictions. It may not revise history, but for all intents and purposes, your record is clean. The same holds true for apartment applications and participation in school and community activities that require background checks. Once your record has been sealed, access to joining the military, gaining professional licenses and many other doors are available, previously closed.
When arrested or convicted of a crime, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent you. At Schmidt Law Firm Law Firm, we have 18 years of experience representing people in cases such as record expungement, DUI, criminal and family law, personal injury, estate planning , and more. Call us today at 801-990-6390 to set up a consultation here for more information.