A conviction for a crime, whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony, is an issue that could influence many aspects of a person’s life. A conviction can affect a person’s ability to find employment, housing, and could even disrupt their academic career. If you need legal assistance to expunge a conviction from your record, you should contact an experienced Utah expungement and record sealing attorney today. Criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson understands the effects a criminal conviction can have on a person’s life, and he can help you expunge your conviction. Overson & Bugden is here to explain how long a conviction can remain on a person’s record in Utah.
Does a Conviction Fall Off a Criminal Record?
Having a criminal conviction on your record for a minor or serious offense can cause several problems for a person. Many people have a mistaken belief that a conviction can fall off a criminal record after a certain length of time. This is incorrect, a conviction for a criminal offense will never simply fall off a person’s record over time. As a result, a criminal conviction will remain on a person’s record forever or until it is expunged.
However, some records may be more difficult to discover if a defendant was not fingerprinted. Under these circumstances, a record of a conviction may be held with the court where the defendant’s trial occurred.
While a criminal conviction will not automatically fall from a person’s record, it is possible to pursue a record expungement and sealing to conceal the record from the public. To learn more about expunging a conviction, continue reading and speak with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer today.
Requirements for Expunging a Criminal Conviction in Utah
If you were convicted of a crime, there is a good possibility that you can have your record expunged after a period of time. However, some criminal convictions are not eligible for expungement. For example, the following crimes cannot be expunged unless the offender was pardoned:
- Capital felonies like homicide, first degree felonies, and violent felonies
- Felony vehicular homicide
- A felony conviction for driving under the influence
- Sex crimes that require the defendant to register with Utah sex offender registry (e.g., rape of a child)
- Child abuse crimes that require sex offender registration
To receive a pardon, a person must petition Utah’s Board of Pardons and Parole. The Board of Pardons and Parole can only pardon convictions; they cannot pardon arrests or case dismissals.
Before pursuing a record expungement, you must ensure that all restitution and other fees related to your offense have been paid. It is important to provide accurate information when applying for a record expungement as misleading or false information can lead to criminal liability. Additionally, a person cannot pursue a record expungement if they have a pending criminal case in the State of Utah.
There is a certain time limit that a person must wait before they can successfully apply for an expungement. This time limit will vary depending on the type of criminal conviction on a person’s record. For example, a misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence will require a person to wait ten years from the date they were convicted or released from incarceration, probation, or parole, whichever occurred most recently.
For felony convictions, an expungement applicant must wait seven years before they can pursue the expungement of their record. Defendants convicted of class A misdemeanors or felony drug possession must wait five years. The waiting period for class B misdemeanors is four years. Finally, class C misdemeanors or infractions must wait three years to apply for record expungement.
It is important to note that multiple convictions for similar crimes can affect eligibility for a record expungement. A conviction under any of the following circumstances will result in the inability to file for a record expungement:
- A conviction for two or more felonies (not including drug possession)
- A conviction for three or more crimes where two of the three crimes are class A misdemeanors
- At least four convictions where three of the crimes were class B misdemeanors
- Five or more convictions for any grade of offense (not including drug possession)
- At least three felony convictions for drug possession
- At least five convictions for any grade of a crime involving drug possession
There are many other steps involved with the record expungement process. However, if the process is successful, the general public and most members of law enforcement will not be able to discover your previous convictions. Only high-ranking members in law enforcement and the government will have the ability to view your previous convictions. This will improve your life in a number of ways by making it easier to secure housing or employment.
Work with Our Experienced Utah Record Expungement Lawyer to Discuss Your Conviction
If you are concerned about how a conviction may affect your life, you should speak with an experienced Ogden criminal defense lawyer to discuss a record expungement. Overson & Bugden is dedicated to providing clients with aggressive legal defense to help pursue the desired outcome to their case. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your record expungement, contact Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287, or contact us online.