Legal Issues

Clearing the Record

In criminal law, nearly every case will affect your criminal record, regardless of how it turns out.  In fact, even an arrest that is never filed as a criminal case, will show up on a thorough background check.  

The expungement process is crucial in the aftermath of an arrest or case if one has a desire to make this information unknown to anyone in the future, including friends, family, public and employers. Utah law dictates when and if certain crimes can be expunged from your record.  If convicted of a crime in Utah, these time periods begin once probation is complete and the case is closed.  An arrest itself, which as noted above, can show up on a background check, can be expunged 30 days later if no case was filed. Additionally, if the case is filed and subsequently dismissed or the defendant was acquitted, he/she can begin the expungement process as long as 30 days have passed since the arrest.  Note that even a case filed and dismissed can show up on a criminal record.  While the dismissal of the case obviously looks better than a conviction, it can affect one’s future.  Often times, defendants consider a dismissal as the final step in cleaning up a criminal record, however, it will require this one last step.

That said, there are certain agencies that will still be authorized to open up an expunged case.  One of these is an immigration court.  If immigration is a player in the reason for expunging a case, it is important to consult an attorney as this may not be the best option to resolve said immigration problems.

Finally, if a case is not eligible for expungement under the Utah code, a defendant may request a pardon from the Board of Pardons.  Should the Board of Pardons grant this kind of request, the conviction automatically becomes eligible for expungement.

As a valuable part of Utah law, expungements are consistently requested.  They take proper paper work, service upon all parties, typically somewhere between 60 and 160 days and at the conclusion, a Judge’s signature.  Sounds like a lot, but well worth the ultimate clean record.

Photo Courtesy of: Master isolated images@freedigitalphotos.net

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *