Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Utah

In Utah, your criminal record may be expunged -- that is, erased or sealed -- under certain circumstances. If your record is expunged, it will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers.

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.

Expungement in Utah 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
  • your case was dismissed without prejudice or without condition and the prosecutor consents in writing that your record is eligible for expungement or at least 180 days have passed since the dismissal of your case
  • 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 (2018).)

Expungement in Utah if You Were Convicted of a Crime

In Utah, many criminal felony and misdemeanor conviction records may be expunged. However, not all records qualify for expungements, and waiting periods apply for records that are eligible.

Records That Are Ineligible for Expungement

Your record is ineligible for expungement if you were convicted in separate criminal episodes of:

  • two or more felonies (other than drug possession)
  • three or more crimes of which two are Class A misdemeanors (other than drug possession)
  • four or more crimes of which three were Class A misdemeanors (other than drug possession)
  • five or more crimes of any type (other than drug possession)
  • three or more felony drug possession offenses, or
  • five or more drug possession crimes of any degree.

Pending or previous infractions, traffic offenses, and minor regulatory defenses do not count for purposes of determining the eligibility of your record for expungement. And if ten years have passed from the date of your conviction or the completion of all terms of your sentence, whichever is later, then the number of convictions in the above list may be increased by one.

In addition, your conviction record will not qualify for expungement if you provide false or misleading information on your expungement paperwork or there is a criminal case pending against you.

Offenses That Do Not Qualify for Expungement Without a Pardon

The following offenses 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
  • a felony vehicular homicide, or
  • an offense for which you were required to register as a sex offender or child abuse offender.

Waiting Periods

If your record is eligible for expungement, 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 (2018).)

How to File for Expungement in Utah

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, and the law can change at any time. 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.

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