Have you been arrested or convicted of a crime in Utah? Speak with our expert expungement attorney in Salt Lake City to see if you can have your criminal record sealed.
A criminal record can limit opportunities and strongly impact your future. If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime in Utah, an expungement can help remove it from your record after a certain amount of time has passed. While not every criminal case is eligible for removal, many cases are. Our expungement attorneys in Salt Lake City specialize in removing various misdemeanor and felony offenses from criminal records. Let’s see what we can do for you — get in touch today to see if you’re eligible for an expungement in Utah.
Experience matters when it comes to protecting your rights. Our defense attorney, Sean B. Druyon, has over two decades of experience in defending clients against various criminal charges in Utah. We have fought and won at every level of court, including the supreme court and courts of appeals. We have the knowledge, skill, and expertise to help you win your case.
We are dedicated to always doing what is in the best interest of our clients. We have built a reputation for providing quality representation tailored to the needs and goals of each client. Our expert defense attorney has a 99.5% client success rate and a proven track record of success representing clients in all types of criminal matters.
As a former prosecutor himself, our defense attorney has tried hundreds of cases from the other side and knows exactly how the prosecution works. His previous prosecuting experience provides valuable insight on what a winning defense strategy takes. He knows how to dominate the courtroom and won’t be intimidated by prosecutors or judges.
We have successfully handled over 3,500+ criminal defense cases throughout Utah. We are previous recipients of the AVVO client’s choice award for the top DUI lawyer in Salt Lake City. We’ve tried thousands of cases and are proud to have never had a bar complaint or an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, ever!
When your freedom is at stake, you deserve the best legal representation you can get to protect your rights. Utah Freedom Fighters fights aggressively in and out of the courtroom to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. We will do everything it takes to have your charges reduced or even dropped.
At Utah Freedom Fighters, we believe that every client has the right to a strong and effective defense team. This is why we strive to make high-quality legal representation affordable for everyone. We are proud to offer one of the most affordable rates in the area for attorneys with our level of experience.
A criminal record has the potential to limit the opportunities that are available to you for employment, education, housing, voting, and other community privileges, such as obtaining a real estate license or even coaching your child’s little league team. When a prospective employer, landlord or other individual runs a background check, a criminal conviction will appear that could be damaging to your future. The unfortunate thing is that criminal records can show more than just a conviction in Utah. Even if you were acquitted or had all charges against you dismissed, an arrest will still be found on your record unless it’s removed.
An expungement is a legal process that involves sealing or restricting access to a person’s criminal record. Records that can be expunged in Utah include any record with a criminal investigation, detention, arrest, or conviction. This also includes juvenile offenses. By having your criminal record expunged, you can state truthfully that you have never been convicted of a crime and successfully pass a background check. It’s important to note that not every case qualifies for an expungement. Certain types of crimes cannot be expunged, such as violent crimes or sex offenses. Other crimes must meet a specific set of criteria before they’re eligible.
The benefits of an expungement for an individual include:
1) Employment Opportunities. The majority of employers do background checks before hiring an applicant. The information employers receive is sometimes incomplete or inaccurate. Even if the applicant wasn’t honest, a background check reveals the applicant’s record of arrests, convictions, and probation status. United States Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has long advocated a federal statute permitting expungement for non-violent crimes.
2) State Licensing. To obtain a professional state license, such as a contractor’s license or real estate license, the applicant is usually required to list whether they have ever been convicted of a crime or ever obtained an expungement.
3) Professional Organizations & Education. Many organizations and educational institutions conduct background checks as part of their admissions process, and will often reject a person if they have any criminal convictions on their record.
4) Improved Personal Reputation. An expungement can help a person feel like society has finally forgiven them. This gives them the ability to psychologically “move on” from the social stigma associated with having a criminal record.
5) Immigration. Sometimes having a criminal conviction can result in being denied a renewal application for residency status, whether a work visa or other temporary visa to reside in the United States.
The benefits of an expungement for society include:
6) Encourages Rehabilitation. When society makes the expungement remedy available to a person, it removes the dark cloud of despair that hangs over them with the thought that everyone knows, and will always know, their criminal history. This dark cloud has a significant psychological effect, which hampers them from giving a full contribution to society. Oftentimes, this person may feel that they made a simple mistake and that they have grown from that mistake. They would like to move on and not be judged for the rest of their life as the person they used to be, but rather the person they are today. We can all relate to this to some degree, since we have all made mistakes in our past. To be judged for the rest of our lives based on these mistakes would certainly stifle our growth and true potential.
7) Productive Members of Society. Rehabilitated individuals that receive a fresh start via expungement are likely to contribute more than if they were not given a fresh start. They are more likely to receive better employment. Better employment means higher income. Higher income means more income tax paid, more consumer spending, more sales tax generated, and more jobs created.
8) Lower Costs. The more people that are rehabilitated and granted an expungement, the lower the costs to society. Removing or sealing criminal records reduces the likelihood of individuals reoffending and cycling back into the system. As a result, this saves taxpayer dollars that would have otherwise been spent on arrests and incarcerations.
There are strict requirements in place that must be followed in order to obtain an expungement in Utah. The process will remove the conviction from a criminal record. Depending on the offense, a certain amount of time is required to wait before you can have it removed from your record. Expungements in the state of Utah are often misunderstood. An experienced lawyer can help you meet these qualifications and understand your rights.
Generally speaking, in order to qualify for an expungement in Utah, a person must meet certain criteria. Some of the factors that determine eligibility include, but are not limited to:
Not sure if your case qualifies for an expungement? Get in touch with our Salt Lake City expungement attorney today. We offer free initial case reviews to help our clients determine their eligibility for expungement in Utah and provide expert guidance on how to get their criminal record permanently sealed.
Not every case is eligible for expungement either. Some criminal offenses, such as violent crimes, won’t be eligible to have their record sealed. Here are the crimes that cannot be expunged if you’re convicted in Utah:
Certain types of criminal cases may be eligible for expungement. Here are the crimes that can be expunged in Utah and the required waiting period for each:
If the mandatory waiting period is approaching for your case or you think you’re eligible for having your record sealed, get in touch with one of the leading expungement lawyers in Salt Lake City. We can help you throughout every stage of the process to ensure your expungement request is approved.
If a person was arrested or simply under investigation and charges were never even filed against that person, they cannot get a certificate of eligibility for an expungement (the first step in the process) until the prosecutor writes a letter indicating that they do not intend on filing charges against that person. This letter is sometimes very challenging, or impossible, to obtain in a timely fashion. The prosecutor is often reluctant to write such a letter out of concern that it will preclude them from the option to file charges in the future.
A person seeking to obtain this letter often has to wait several months. Even after waiting, the prosecutor denies the request altogether, resulting in the person having to wait until the statute of limitations runs out, which is usually 4 years for criminal cases. To make a person wait in legal limbo with all its adverse consequences, such as prospective employment or housing discrimination, is to undermine the precious constitutional right we all profess to honor, which is innocent until proven guilty.
A person seeking the expungement is prohibited from obtaining an expungement unless the case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that they are barred from refiling the case. Usually prosecutors will not want to dismiss with prejudice for the same reasons stated above: the preclusion effect or the inability to file charges against you in the future.
As such, the law should state that any dismissed case, whether with or without prejudice, can be expunged. This would preserve the prosecutor’s right to refile, if appropriate. This would also help the person seeking the expungement to not be placed in “limbo” waiting for the statute of limitations to expire, which could be several years in the future. A provision in any modified Utah Code could include language that the prosecutor has discretion to refile a case within the statute of limitations.
Those that have received expungements often find themselves the victim of third party companies that publish their crimes on the Internet or other media source for profit. These same companies frequently continue to publish these crimes, even after the person has obtained a valid expungement order. Although there is currently a federal law that speaks to this issue, there is no Utah law that does. Since federal laws are hard to enforce in this scenario due to the cost to the United States government versus the benefit it would obtain from litigating such small cases, a Utah law needs to be enacted in order to give persons that have obtained an expungement order the benefits the law intended for them.
Once someone qualifies and is approved for an expungement, they should have a completely clean record and not have third parties publishing crimes they have been “forgiven” of by a court of law. The law should have a criminal component as well. It is suggested that it be a Class B misdemeanor for a person to knowingly or intentionally publish a person’s expunged record.
All qualified persons should be entitled to an expungement, including certain qualified sex offenders. The benefits of an expungement are currently unavailable to sex offenders. The rationale for this is most likely the assumption that sex offenders are beyond help or rehabilitation. But psychologists are nearly unanimous in concluding that there are varying degrees of sex offenders and that, while some are a high risk to reoffend, there are a significant number of sex offenders that pose little to no risk of reoffending if they had some counseling and therapy to correct their thinking errors. Therefore, to deny these persons the benefits of an expungement sends a mixed message; a message that the law is an unfair arbiter of the administration of true justice and does not have a logical justification by discriminating against certain classes of people that have proven they are rehabilitated and are a low risk to society.
Under the current law, expungements are unavailable to all registered sex offenders. Sex offenders are defined under section § 77-41-102 of the Utah Code. However, even if a person successfully obtains a reduction of their offense by a court of law, subsection 16 (a) of that section specifically prohibits any person from being eligible if they even attempted any of the listed sex offenses. Therefore, there is no hope a sex offender will ever be forgiven of their conviction, regardless of what they do to improve, rehabilitate, and contribute positively to society.
Thus, an 18 year old that is caught nude in a shower at a beach while intoxicated and is seen by a child is categorized as a sex offender just as a pedophile that committed a violent crime. Both are required to register as sex offenders. Both are precluded from ever obtaining an expungement. Obviously there is a big difference between these two extreme cases with respect to not only their respective mental culpability at the time of the offense, but also with respect to the harm inflicted on their respective victims.
The remedy of obtaining an expungement is a wonderful tool designed to motivate a person convicted of a crime to rehabilitate and demonstrate a commitment to bettering society. However, this remedy is oftentimes burdened with administrative and procedural hurdles that make getting an expungement in Utah an overly lengthy, or impossible, process altogether. Utah law should not make obtaining an expungement an unreasonably difficult or long process for individuals that qualify for one. And yet the current law has components that do just that. As such, the current Utah law needs to be modified to prevent unnecessary delay and create a more streamlined approach in cases where charges have never been filed as well as in cases where a criminal charge was filed, but ultimately dismissed. A person seeking an expungement should not have to wait unreasonable amounts of time to move on with their lives. Further, the expungement remedy should extend to all qualified persons that have demonstrated rehabilitation, remorse, and a commitment to bettering society.
Don’t let your criminal record follow you around forever, especially when there’s something you can do about it. Utah Freedom Fighters can help clear a criminal record from an investigation, detention, arrest, or conviction. Utah expungement laws are complex and constantly changing. Our skilled expungement attorney in Salt Lake City has over two decades of experience in helping clients clear their record of previous arrests and convictions. Sean Druyon is a member of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Attorney’s Legislative Committee and is in the process of preparing bills for the upcoming Utah legislative session that address the issues presented above.
Get the clean slate you deserve after paying your dues. Schedule a free consultation today to find out if your criminal record is eligible for an expungement in Utah or get in touch to learn more about our services. We represent clients near Salt Lake City, Bountiful, Farmington, Ogden, Sandy, Park City, Provo, and all throughout Utah.
If you’re charged with a crime in Utah, you legally have the right to defend yourself. However, it’s always in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Hiring a skilled lawyer like ours can make the difference between a conviction and having your charges dropped.
Criminal defense attorneys specialize in defending clients that have been accused of a crime. Some of the things a defense lawyer will do for you includes, but is not limited to:
You should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney if you’ve been arrested, charged with a crime, subjected to a search, interrogated by police, or involved in a criminal investigation. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the more that can be done to build an effective defense.
The cost of a criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City will depend on the type of crime, the complexity of the case, and the attorney’s level of experience. Less experienced lawyers offer the cheapest fees to attract new clients, while more experienced lawyers charge slightly more. It’s important to remember that the cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney is often far less than that of a conviction.
We are committed to making the best legal representation within reach to everyone. We provide quality legal representation at one of the most affordable rates in Salt Lake City. Our criminal defense attorney has successfully defended clients against criminal charges for over 20 years. We are proud to offer 2-3 times less than other attorneys in the area with similar levels of experience.