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What kind of attorney handles expungements in Utah?

Technically, any attorney can represent you in an expungement proceeding, or you can represent yourself. But as a practical matter, your best chances of successfully expunging your criminal record will be achieved with the assistance of an experienced criminal lawyer.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has successfully assisted clients in obtaining expungements of charges ranging from serious felony convictions to multiple misdemeanors and dismissed plea in abeyance cases. Mr. Howard has also helped clients restore expungement eligibility through successful "402" motions to reduce the level of prior convictions.

If you are petitioning for an expungement, seeking a 402 reduction, or facing new criminal charges, contact us to arrange for an initial confidential consultation with Utah criminal lawyer Stephen Howard.

Expungement Process in Utah

The following is intended as a brief overview of the expungement process in Utah. If you are interested in filing a petition for expungement, the assistance of an experienced criminal lawyer is advised.

Certificate of Eligibility - The first step in the expungement process is the application for a certificate of eligibility. This application is submitted to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI). This agency is responsible for performing a criminal history check for court records from Utah as well as other states and federal courts. If BCI determines that a person meets the basic statutory requirements for expungement eligibility, then a certificate can be issued. In rare circumstances, BCI may issue a "special certificate" indicating that their records review is not able to confirm or deny eligibility, and that the court will need to make an eligibility determination.

Petition for Expungement -  Once a certificate of eligibility is issued, the person seeking expungement must file a formal petition with the court. The petitioner bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the expungement is not contrary to the public interests.

Prosecutor or Victim Response - When a petition for expungement is filed with the court, a copy of the petition must be delivered to the prosecuting agency. The prosecutor is then responsible for attempting to contact any victims in the case. The prosecutor or victim may file an objection to the expungement petition. Or, if the petition is successfully persuasive, a prosecutor can file a consent to expunge the records and a waiver of further hearings on the expungement petition.

Hearing and Court Order - If the prosecutor or victim objects to the expungement petition, the petitioner has a right to a hearing with the judge. If the prosecutor has filed a consent and waiver, or if the judge is persuaded by the expungement petition following a formal hearing, the court will sign a formal expungement order.

Effect of the Expungement Order - An expungement order requires state and local government agencies to respond to inquiries for records concerning an arrest, conviction, or other expunged records (in most cases) as though the records did not exist. The expungement order also allows the petitioner/defendant to respond to "any inquiry" as though the arrest or conviction did not occur.

Finding a Utah Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake City

Utah Criminal Defense AttorneyIn some cases, the Utah expungement process can be smooth and uncomplicated. In other cases, prosecutor's objections, victim's responses, and court hearings can result in an extended and complex process. Having an experienced criminal lawyer on your side can help ensure the best possible results for your expungement petition.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us to arrange for an initial consultation, and begin the expungement process.

RELATED CRIMINAL LAW TOPICS
Do I need a lawyer to handle an expungement in Utah?
How long does it take to get an expungement?
How do I get a 402 reduction in Utah?


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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
340 East 400 South, Suite 25, 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

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