Can Domestic Violence Be Expunged in Utah?

In Utah, expungement is a legal process that allows individuals to clear their criminal records. It effectively erases past convictions, providing an opportunity for a fresh start by removing the public visibility of the criminal history. There are several potential benefits to having your record expunged.

A conviction for domestic violence may only be expunged from your record in Utah if the offense at issue is classified as a misdemeanor. “Violent felony” offenses, including felony domestic violence offenses, cannot be expunged. Still, there may be away for our legal team to have a felony domestic violence conviction brought down to a misdemeanor through a 402 reduction. Our professionals are prepared to review your specific case and explain the appropriate course of action.

Seek support from our experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at Overson & Bugden by dialing (801) 758-2287.

Domestic Violence Expungements in Utah

Domestic violence may be expunged from your criminal record in Utah. However, your eligibility for expungement will ultimately be determined by how the offense at issue is classified.

Utah categorizes crimes into felonies, misdemeanors (Class A, Class B, and Class C), and simple infractions. The waiting periods for expungement can vary based on the severity of the offense at issue.

If you are considering expungement, it is crucial to be aware of these waiting periods: 7 years for a felony, 5 years for a Class A misdemeanor, 4 years for a Class B misdemeanor, and 3 years for any other misdemeanor or infraction. Special rules apply to certain offenses, such as a reduced waiting period of 5 years for felony drug possession and a 10-year waiting period for drug and alcohol DUI convictions.

While there are many types of felonies that may be expunged, expungement is not an option for “violent felony” charges like felony domestic violence. Accordingly, if you were accused of domestic violence and the offense at issue is a felony, then the offense may be ineligible for expungement.

Thankfully, if you were convicted of felony domestic violence, there may be a way for our Park City criminal defense attorneys to have your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.

Using a 402 Reduction to Reduce a Domestic Violence Conviction in Utah

As established by Utah Code § 76-3-402, a “402 reduction” refers to a legal process where a felony charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor. This reduction is often sought by individuals who have been convicted of a felony and are looking for a way to minimize the impact of the conviction on their record.

By obtaining a 402 reduction, the severity of a felony domestic violence offense can be decreased from a felony to a misdemeanor, which can have beneficial implications on your eligibility for expungement. After reviewing your case, our legal team can help determine if you may be eligible for a 402 reduction. Furthermore, we can guide you through the process of having your felony conviction reduced.

The Process for Expunging Domestic Violence in Utah

Domestic violence offenses are not eligible for automatic expungement in Utah. The process for having domestic violence expunged from your criminal record can be highly tiresome and complicated. Fortunately, our legal team can offer thorough guidance and support when navigating each of the following steps:

Obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility

The initial step involves applying for a Certificate of Eligibility from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). This certificate, crucial for expungement, may take several months to process once the BCI receives your request. After obtaining the certificate, you have a 90-day window to file it, along with your petition for expungement. Failure to meet this deadline necessitates acquiring a new certificate, further elongating the process.

Filing the Petition for Expungement

The subsequent step entails filing the petition for expungement with the appropriate court. This involves submitting your Certificate of Eligibility and additional required forms. Our legal team can assist in acquiring and completing these documents promptly.

Notifying the Prosecutor’s Office

Upon filing your petition, it is important to inform the prosecutor’s office about the impending expungement proceedings.

Similar to any expungement process, it is a requirement under Utah Code § 77-40a-305(6) that the prosecuting attorney notifies the domestic violence victim about the expungement petition. Within a 60-day period, the victim holds the option to submit either a recommendation or an objection to the proposed expungement.

If the victim raises timely objections to your expungement petition, then the court will schedule a hearing on the issue. In the absence of objections, the court has the authority to approve the expungement without a hearing.

Moreover, objections to your domestic violence expungement can also be filed by the prosecution as well as Adult Probation and Parole (APP).

As the petitioner, you possess the right to submit written responses to the objections filed. Guidance from our legal team can be highly valuable when preparing such responses in your case. Furthermore, we can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected during any potential hearings.

Submitting Court Orders to Relevant Agencies

If your petition for expungement is granted, then you must promptly submit copies of the official court order to the BCI and other pertinent government agencies. This step is critical for sealing records of your conviction held by these agencies. Ensuring that copies of the order reach all necessary entities is essential for the effectiveness of the expungement.

How Long Does the Expungement Process Take in Utah?

The expungement process in Utah can be lengthy. Securing a Certificate of Eligibility alone may take several months. Subsequent court proceedings often experience delays as the result of heavy caseloads and limited personnel. You should anticipate waiting additional weeks or months after petition filing for a final decision.

Notably, a complex criminal history may prompt objections from prosecutors, potentially prolonging the expungement timeline even further. Engaging the services of our legal professionals can streamline and expedite your expungement process. We will work diligently to navigate potential complexities efficiently.

Contact Our Law Firm for Help Having Your Criminal Record Expunged in Utah

Get help from our experienced Logan criminal defense lawyers by calling Overson & Bugden today at (801) 758-2287.