Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Veteran Criminal Defense Lawyers / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what the right attorney can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

What can I do to clean my record in Utah?

There are several ways of clearing your criminal record in Utah. Expungements, 402 reductions, and pardons can all play a part in clearing your record and getting a fresh start. Choosing the best method can depend on your goals and on the nature of your criminal record.

Assistance from an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be invaluable. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal attorney Stephen Howard provides services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for a confidential consultation.


The Utah Expungement Act provides one method of clearing your record. Under Utah law, once records of a criminal conviction, arrest, or investigation are expunged, you are allowed to answer most questions regarding your criminal history as though the arrest or conviction never occurred.

Obtaining an expungement requires strict compliance with eligibility requirements and waiting periods. In addition to the basic statutory eligibility requirements, you must also demonstrate by "clear and convincing evidence" that granting the expungement is not contrary to the public interest.

While the standards for obtaining an expungement can be high, the benefits are significant. If you are eligible for an expungement, this may be the best way to clear your Utah criminal record.

402 Reductions

Under Utah law, if you have successfully completed probation you may be able to reduce the level of your conviction by one or two steps. This process, often called a "402 reduction" (referring to Utah Code Ann. 76-3-402), is commonly used to reduce a felony conviction to the misdemeanor level.

In some circumstances, a 402 reduction can be used to shorten the waiting period for an expungement or can be used to restore eligibility for expungement.

There is no minimum waiting period for eligibility for a 402 reduction. The motion can be filed immediately upon successful completion of probation. So for some people, a 402 reduction can be the quickest way remove a felony conviction from their record.


Some people simply have too many convictions on their record to be eligible for an expungement, even after 402 reductions. If you find yourself in such a circumstance, you may still be able to clear your Utah criminal record by obtaining a pardon. While the expungement process is governed by strict statutory requirements, the Utah Board of Pardons has broad discretion to grant a pardon in appropriate cases.

Under former Utah law, a pardon restored your eligibility for expungement. Under changes to the law made by the Utah legislature, a pardon now has essentially the same effect as an expungement order issued by a court. Whereas under the former law a person who had been pardoned was still required to petition the court for an expungement, the pardon itself now acts as the expungement order.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

Utah Criminal DefenseWhether you are facing new criminal charges in Utah, or trying to clear your record of old mistakes, having the right criminal attorney for your case can give you the best chance of success. To learn more about the legal processes involved, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation with Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard.

How do I get a 402 reduction in Utah?
Do I need a lawyer to get an expungement?
Can I get an expungement if I still owe fines or restitution?

Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed life in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Even a single misdemeanor conviction in Utah can result in extended jail time and substantial fines. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can last a lifetime. Whether you are facing misdemeanor prosecution in a justice court or more serious felony charges in the district court, obtaining advice and assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney is....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Hope

Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are reasons to remain hopeful, and there are things you can do right now that can help increase the odds of a successful outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the various options you have, and can help you....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.