What is the 402 Reduction in Utah

Many individuals convicted of crimes are able to be rehabilitated and go forward with their lives as productive members of society. Unfortunately, the criminal conviction still sticks around, and such convictions can have adverse effects on a rehabilitated person’s life. Jobs may be more unwilling to hire people with criminal convictions, friends, and family may think of them differently, and certain constitutional rights may be off the table for people with criminal convictions. However, there is a way for people convicted of crimes to try and get rid of, or at least manage criminal convictions.

In Utah, those convicted of crimes who complete special programs can petition the court to have the severity of their conviction reduced through what is called a “402 reduction.” There are some eligibility requirements for 402 reductions, like completing probation and paying all restitution, and you need to convince the court that reducing your conviction to a lesser offense is a good idea.

To have our Utah criminal defense lawyers start helping you out, call Overson Law at (801) 758-2287.

The Law for Lowering the Level of Criminal Conviction in Utah

Utah Code § 76-3-402 deals with the lowering of criminal convictions in Utah. Colloquially known as a “402 reduction,” this law allows individuals convicted of crimes to petition the court to lower the severity of their conviction. This statute is quite long and can be difficult to understand, so our Utah criminal defense lawyers will walk you through it so you know exactly how 402 reductions work in Utah.


Only individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements can seek 402 reductions in Utah. There are several different eligibility requirements that a 402 reduction applicant needs to satisfy.


A person seeking a 402 sentencing reduction must have successfully completed any probation programs they were a part of. If, at any point, the individual is removed from probation and sent to prison, the program is considered incomplete, and the 402 reduction will be denied.


If the applicant has any outstanding restitution due to the court, that has to be paid in full before a 402 reduction can be considered.


While it is not at all common for individuals convicted of sex crimes to receive 402 reductions, those who can need to register with appropriate databases for the time period commensurate with their crime. Once the individual no longer needs to be in a database, they can apply for a 402 reduction.

Justice Interests

Eligible candidates for a 402 reduction have to argue that reducing their sentence is “in the interest of justice.” The court takes into account a number of factors when determining whether a 402 reduction is in the interest of justice. First, the court will consider the “nature, circumstances, and severity” of the crimes that the defendant is asking to be reduced. Second, the court will take into account all harm the defendant has caused the victim through their crimes, as well as input from the victims themselves.

The court can also consider other factors, such as the effect of a 402 reduction on the defendant, the defendant’s criminal history, rehabilitative programs, and other factors that may sway the court towards granting a 402 reduction.

Benefits of 402 Reductions in Utah

402 reductions come with many benefits. There is the obvious legal benefit of lowering the level of a conviction, but there are other extralegal benefits to a successful 402 reduction as well.

Easier Job Search

Many jobs will not hire people who have been convicted of felonies or other serious crimes. If you have a felony or high-grade misdemeanor on your record, it can be difficult to find employment. If you are able to reduce the level of crime on your record, it can make obtaining steady employment easier.


Some housing developments and areas will not allow residents who have serious criminal convictions on their records. A 402 reduction can open the doors to these areas and widen your housing prospects.

Reduced Stigma

Many people place a stigma on individuals with serious crimes on their record and may not want to associate with them. If you can reduce the level of crime you were convicted of, it can help to mitigate that potential stigma.

Quicker Expungement

An expungement is when a crime is removed from someone’s record. IT cannot be looked up and is very hard to find. Less serious crimes are easier to expunge than more serious ones. So, if you can get a 402 reduction to reduce a conviction, that crime will be easier to get expunged from your record.

When is a 402 Reduction Not an Option in Utah?

402 reductions are not available to everyone convicted of a crime. However, you should still talk to our Utah criminal defense lawyer, as we may be able to assist you in other ways.

Registered Sex Offenders

Registered sex offenders cannot be eligible for 402 reductions while they are on a sex offender registry. However, once their registration has officially expired, they may be eligible under certain circumstances. Individuals who must be registered sex offenders for life will at no point be eligible for 402 reductions in Utah.

Child Abuse Offenders

Registered child abuse offenders are not eligible for 402 reductions. Like with sex offenders, there are some individuals who will only be registered for a certain period of time, and there are others who will be registered for life. Temporarily registered people can petition for a 402 reduction when their registration officially expires, while lifetime registrants will not get that opportunity.

Our Utah Criminal Defense Lawyers are Here to Help

Overson Law’s Utah criminal defense lawyers can help you with your situation when you contact us at (801) 758-2287.