One of the most significant and often humiliating aspects of being convicted of a sex offense is being required to register as a sex offender. While it is possible to be removed from the sex offender registry, registerable sex offenses cannot be expunged.
Registered sex offenders cannot have their records expunged in Utah. While many offenders can be removed from the sex offender registry, the convicted will be reflected in their criminal record forever. It is important to get an attorney to help you because some offenses may be ineligible for expungement. For relatively minor offenses, getting removed from the registry might happen automatically. For others, the process might be more involved and is not guaranteed.
If you were previously convicted of a sex offense and want to get your record expunged, our Park City sex crimes defense attorneys can help you. For a free case review, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.
Can a Sex Offender Expunge Their Record in Utah?
Convicted sex offenders who are required to register with Utah’s sex offender registry are ineligible for expungement under Utah law. According to Utah Code § 77-40-105(2)(a)(vi), registerable sex offenses are not eligible for expungement, but there is an important caveat that might be the saving grace for some defendants.
If you were convicted of a registerable sex offense for a crime you committed while at least 14 years old and younger than 18, you might be able to get your record expunged. However, juveniles charged with serious felonies in district court might also be ineligible. Overall, it is very difficult, but not impossible, for registered sex offenders to expunge their criminal records.
If you were convicted of a sex offense you committed as a minor, you should discuss your case with our Provo sex crimes defense attorneys. It is very possible that you are eligible for expungement. Even if you are ineligible for expungement, we can assist you in getting removed from the Utah sex offender registry.
Sex Offenses Eligible for Expungement in Utah
As mentioned before, sex offenses that require a convicted defendant to register as a sex offender are ineligible for expungement unless the offenses in question were committed when the defendant was at least 14 but younger than 18, and the offenses were not serious felonies filed in district court. However, this leaves some wiggle room for registerable sex offenses that can be expunged in Utah.
As we have discussed, juvenile records of sex offenses can be expunged under certain conditions. However, the ban on expunging serious offenses filed in district court means that you are likely eligible for expungement if your offenses were misdemeanors.
Many, if not most, registered sex offenders cannot have their convictions expunged. However, our Riverton sex crimes defense attorneys can help you petition the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for a pardon. If your offenses are pardoned, then the convictions are wiped clean from your record, and you will no longer be required to register.
How to Expunge Sex Offenses from Your Criminal Record in Utah
Expunging a conviction, sex offense or not, is a tricky situation. If you are eligible for an expungement, you must make sure that enough time has passed since your sentence was completed. If your offense was a misdemeanor DUI or a felony drug offense, at least 10 years must have passed since the end of your sentence in addition to all fines, fees, and restitution being fully paid.
For other kinds of felonies, at least 7 years must have passed since the end of your sentence. For a Class A misdemeanor or felony drug possession conviction, at least 5 years must have passed. At least 4 years must have passed since a Class B misdemeanor and 3 years for any other misdemeanors or infractions.
If enough time has elapsed, you can begin the process by applying for a certificate of eligibility from the Bureau of Criminal Identification. It may take several months for your application to be processed, but once you have the certificate, you must file it within 90 days and a petition to expunge your records with the court.
Once filed with the courts, the prosecutor might object to your petition, and you must answer the objection in a hearing scheduled by the court. At the end of the hearing, the court will decide whether to proceed with the expungement. If your expungement is granted, you must serve certified copies of the order granting the expungement to all necessary government agencies. If this last step is not taken, records of your convictions will not be expunged.
Getting Removed from the Sex Offender Registry in Utah
Even if an expungement is not possible in your case, you might still be able to get removed from the sex offender registry. For those convicted of certain misdemeanor sex offenses, the expungement process is automatic. People convicted of the following sex crimes may have their records automatically expunged after a certain period of time:
- Class B or C misdemeanors for enticing a minor,
- Third-degree felonies for unlawful sexual intercourse (before 1986),
- Class B misdemeanor for unlawful sexual intercourse (after 1986), and
- Sodomy, but not forcible sodomy
Because removal from the registry happens automatically for these offenses, there is no need for defendants to take any steps. Once your name is removed from the registry, you should receive a letter explaining the removal.
If you believe you qualify for automatic removal, but your name is still on the registry, contact our Sandy sex crimes defense attorneys for help immediately. We can help you make a written request to the Department of Corrections to remove your name.
Call Our Utah Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys for Help
If you were convicted of a sex offense, there is a good chance you are ineligible for an expungement. However, you may qualify to be removed from the sex offender registry. Call our South Jordan sex crimes defense attorneys for a free case review to discuss your options. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 today.