Are You Eligible to Remove Your Name from the Utah Sex Offender Registry?
It’s a heavy burden to carry when you appear in Utah’s Sex Offender Registry. Not only is this “stain” hurting your record, but it can also take a toll on your life. Under Utah’s criminal procedure codified under § 77-27-21.5, sex offenders must update their registration every six months. They are required to submit updates to the personal information within three business days of life changes, including residence, vehicle, employment or educational institution. This continued reporting requirement can feel like an undue prolongation of the punishment. The possibility of removing the name from the sex offenders’ registry offers great hope. Full reintegration is possible without having to face the bias of being a registered sex offender for the rest of your life. Sex crime defense lawyer Darwin Overson explains the conditions under which you are eligible to remove your name from the sex offender registry. You don’t have to carry the stigma associated with being a registered sex offender for the rest of your life.
As a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer, it’s all too common to hear the struggles of registered sex offenders face in finding employment. The qualifications needed to have your name removed from Utah’s Sex Offender Registry depend on multiple factors. The complicated part of this process is that there are no guarantees. In fact, petitions can be denied even if you meet the eligibility criteria. It’s best to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific circumstances if you’re looking into removal of your name or the name of someone you know from Utah’s Sex Offender Registry. Call (801) 758-2287 to schedule a free consultation. Here is a brief overview of these requirements.
Sex Offender Registry Name Removal Process
The first requirement for eligibility to have your name removed from the sex offender registry is obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility from the Bureau of Criminal Identification of the Utah Department of Public Safety. The requirements of this certificate are intended to make sure you have a clean record, that you met all the pre and post-sentencing requirements, and that your crime meets the eligibility criteria. Utah has a vast list of registrable sex offenses. Not all sex crimes qualify for removal from Utah’s sex offender registry. Utah’s legislature has specified that only certain sex crimes qualify for removal, including:
- Enticing a minor
- Unlawful sexual activity with a minor, and at the time of the conviction, was not more than ten years older than the victim.
- Illegal sexual conduct with a 16 or 17-year old, and at the time of the offense was not more than 15 years older than the victim.
A term of five years must have passed since the sentence completion. Registration for the previous five years must comply with the registration and update requirements. Compliance must be confirmed by the Utah Department of Corrections.
Satisfying the Ordered Restitution
If you were ordered restitution, this part of your penalty must be satisfied to be eligible to remove your name from the sex offender registry. Restitution is the recompense you’re ordered to pay for the crime. The record shouldn’t have any additional offenses. As far as offenses occurring after the sex offense conviction, there is a limited exception for traffic offenses. Outside the limited exception, your record must be clear. The exception is very limited in that there are traffic offenses that will preclude your eligibility to apply for the removal of your name from the sex offender registry. For example, a conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or for reckless driving do not qualify for the limited exception.
The review of eligibility can be extensive. All information provided has to be truthful. Providing false or misleading information is considered a Class B misdemeanor and can result in prosecution. This is the type of prosecution that can foreclose your ability to ask removal of your name from the sex registry.
Filing a Petition to Remove a Name from the Offender Registry
With the Certificate of Eligible, you can proceed to file an official petition. Pursuant to Utah’s Criminal Procedure Code § 77-41-112, registered sex offenders can file a petition in court to remove their name from sex offender registry and kidnap offender registry. Judges tend to have a great deal of discretion in determinations surrounding these petitions. This part of the process of removing your name of Utah’s Sex Offenders’ Registry can be grueling at many levels because the prosecutor who obtained your conviction will be asked to come forward as well as the victim.
The petition must be filed with to the office of the prosecutor assigned to the original case. Also, the victim typically receives a notification. The victim has 45 days to file a written objection with the court. While this testimony is not always the decisive factor, the words of the victim and prosecutor can hurt your chances of removing your name from the sex registry. An experienced sex crime defense attorney can help you overcome this hurdle. Also, the prosecutor can provide the following:
- The presentencing report, which typically contains the information submitted for the judge’s consideration before the original sentencing hearing.
- Any evaluation as part of sentencing includes any psychological testing or medical assessments that can be deemed relevant for purposes of rehabilitation.
- The prosecutor can also include any information considered. Such broad provision gives the prosecutor to on details of a sex conviction that point to potential problems in your record that would warrant your continued registration in Utah’s Sex Offender Registry.
Salt Lake City, UT Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
With the right legal representation, you can contest the information the prosecutor or the victim present that can be prejudicial to your petition. Skilled attorneys can help you navigate through this process. Moreover, as difficult as it may be to have to revisit the incidents that led to the conviction, it’s in your best interest to be prepared to tackle these allegations proactively.