An arrest on your criminal record is an issue that can impact a person in a number of ways. Even if a defendant was not convicted of the crime they were arrested for; their criminal record will still reflect the arrest. Fortunately, it may be possible to petition for an expungement of an arrest record successfully. If you need legal assistance to petition for record expungement, consult with an experienced Utah record expungement and sealing lawyer. With over 16 years of legal experience, criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson can help you pursue a record expungement. Overson Law, PLLC is here to explain how long an arrest can stay on your criminal record.
How an Arrest Can be Removed from Your Criminal Record
There is often a misconception that if you are arrested for a crime but not convicted, the arrest will not appear on your criminal record or will fall off your criminal record after some time. Unfortunately, in Utah, a record of an arrest will appear on a person’s record despite whether they were convicted of the offense.
While it may be disheartening to learn that an arrest will not be eliminated from your criminal record after a certain period of time, you may be eligible for a record expungement.
There are various benefits to having your arrest record expunged. For example, a person that has had their record expunged is permitted to answer employment or licensing questions as if the arrest never occurred. Additionally, government agencies that receive requests regarding your criminal record will reply to those requests as the arrest did not happen.
It is important to note that the expungement of an arrest will not eliminate any news articles or similar sources of news that documented your arrest.
To learn more about the process of having your arrest expunged, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer.
Requirements for Expunging an Arrest Record in Utah
There are a number of requirements that must be adhered to if a person wishes to have their arrest record expunged. In Utah, it is possible to expunge records of an arrest, criminal investigation, and detention if the defendant was not convicted and under the following circumstances:
- 30 days have passed since the arrest
- The petitioner does not have any pending criminal cases
Additionally, eligibility for expungement can depend on whether charges were filed in the defendant’s case. If charges were not filed in the case, a person could petition for an expungement. However, an expungement can still be requested if charges were filed. Under these circumstances, the charges must be dismissed with prejudice (cannot be refiled) or dismissed without prejudice.
An expungement can also be requested if the defendant’s charges were acquitted at trial or the statute of limitations on the criminal trial has expired. The statute of limitations determines how long the state has to pursue a criminal case against a defendant.
How to File for an Arrest Record Expungement
To begin the arrest record expungement process, a petitioner must first seek a “Certificate of Eligibility” from Utah’s Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). This document will allow the petitioner to request an expungement for the court.
Once BCI has supplied the petitioner with their certificate (which could take months), it must be filed within 90 days with the “Petition to Expunge Records.” Do not panic if you cannot meet this deadline as the certificate can be requested more than once.
The Petition to Expunge Records must be addressed to the prosecutor’s office that handled your case. Ensure that you file the correct documents that match the circumstances of your case. For example, you should not file a request to expunge a conviction if your charges were acquitted.
These documents must be served on the prosecutor or the county attorney if no criminal charges were filed. The prosecutor can respond in a number of ways. For example, the prosecutor may consent to the expungement and waive a hearing. Unfortunately, the prosecutor also has the power to file an objection to the expungement request.
A prosecutor may object to an expungement petition if the petitioner did not complete all probation requirements or if they believe the petitioner is still a danger to the public. For example, if a petitioner was arrested for driving under the influence and a passenger in their vehicle was injured, the prosecutor could object on behalf of the victim.
A hearing may be necessary if the prosecutor does not waive the hearing or if the prosecutor does not respond within 60 days. If a hearing is scheduled, you should speak with an experienced attorney to ensure you are prepared to handle any inquiries by the court. In some cases, Utah’s Adult Probation and Parole Division may have to submit a statement regarding your eligibility for expungement.
Remember that the judge has final discretion regarding your expungement and can accept or deny your request.
If you are successful in your expungement hearing, you will receive an expungement order that you can begin mailing to law enforcement and government agencies. Agencies that receive this order must treat your arrest as it did not occur.
Work with Our Experienced Utah Arrest Record Expungement Lawyer Today
If you want to have your criminal record expunged of any arrests, you should contact an experienced Park City criminal defense attorney today. Overson Law, PLLC has helped residents of Utah resolve their criminal law issues for several years, and we would be honored to work with you. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your record expungement, contact Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287. You can also contact the firm online.