In Utah, your criminal record may be expunged -- that is, erased or sealed -- under the circumstances described below. If your record is expunged, it will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers. In most cases, you may say that you were never arrested or convicted of a crime.
If You Were Not Convicted of a Crime
A record of arrest, investigation, or detention for a crime may be expunged if:
- no charges were filed
- your case was dismissed with prejudice
- you were acquitted, or
- the statute of limitations expired.
To qualify, at least 30 days must have passed since the arrest and there must be no other criminal cases pending against you.
(Utah Code § 77-40-104.)
If You Were Convicted of a Crime
In Utah, many criminal conviction records may be expunged. The following offenses, however, do not qualify for expungement unless you are pardoned by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole:
- a felony offense classified as capital, first-degree, or violent
- a felony DUI
- vehicular homicide, or
- an offense for which you were required to register as a sex offender.
In addition, your conviction record will not qualify for expungement if:
- you provide false or misleading information on your expungement paperwork
- there is a criminal case pending against you, or
- you were convicted in separate criminal episodes of two or more felonies; three or more crimes of which two are Class A misdemeanors; four or more crimes of which three were Class A misdemeanors; or five or more crimes of any type other than infractions.
Finally, you must satisfy the following waiting periods before applying to expunge your record. These wait times run from the date you were convicted or released from probation, prison, or parole, whichever is later.
- Misdemeanors under the Utah Traffic Code: 10 years
- Felonies under the Utah Controlled Substance Act: 10 years
- Other felonies: 7 years
- Class A misdemeanors: 5 years
- Class B misdemeanors: 4 years
- Other misdemeanors or infractions: 3 years
(Utah Code § 77-40-105.)
How to File
Before applying to expunge your criminal record, you must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification. You must then file your petition for expungement in the court that heard your case or, if there was no case against you, in the district court of the county where you were arrested.
For detailed information about filing for expungement, see the Utah State Courts website.
Getting Legal Help
Cleaning up a criminal history can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for expungement in Utah -- or for advice about your personal situation -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.