No one wants to be remembered by the mistakes they made as a child. In Utah, it is possible to expunge (seal) your juvenile record if you meet certain eligibility requirements. Properly expunging a juvenile record means that your earlier juvenile court proceedings are considered never to have occurred. That means you can legally respond to inquiries without mentioning details in the expunged records. The only caveat is that the order to seal records does not bind non-government agencies who may have independent records such as news agencies.
Below is a brief summary of the three main steps for expunging a juvenile record in Utah.
First and foremost, you must be at least 18 years old. If you are, then at least one year must have passed from the date of the following:
Be aware that there may be a little wiggle room here. If appropriate, the court may waive one of these requirements. Talk to an experienced lawyer if you think a waiver might be a possibility in your case.
There are certain things that prohibit a court from allowing expungement. You are not eligible if:
Note: If you have an adult criminal record, you must have your adult record expunged before your juvenile records can be expunged. You can read more about expunging your adult criminal record here.
Another requirement to petition for expungement is to provide your full criminal history report to the court. This may include any juvenile records you have in other jurisdictions. To get your Utah criminal history report, you can fill out the form and pay a fee for it through the Bureau of Criminal Identification.
Once you have determined your eligibility and have your official criminal history report, you can begin your petition to the court. You must file the petition in the juvenile court that handled your original case and make sure it is served to the office of the prosecutor. Keep in mind there may be another fee to file the petition.
One thing to know is that it may be easier for the court to fully seal your record if you help identify any agencies known or thought to have records related to your offense.
Once a petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled. The courts will inform all the necessary entities, including the county/district attorney, the juvenile court’s probation department, and the government agencies you indicated as having your records. Additionally, the court may notify the victim if they have requested notice of petitions for expungement.
After the court considers all these issues, if the judge finds your juvenile record eligible for expunction, he or she will issue an order to expunge and seal the records at any state, county, and local government entities.
While the steps in this post may make the process seem simple, nothing is ever simple in the legal system. There are plenty of opportunities for a petition to be denied. If you have any questions about the process or the strength of your case for expungement, the expert legal team at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat are here to help. We will make sure your case is as solid as it can be to help you move on from the mistakes of your past.
Call (801) 532-5297 today to discuss your case. Let us put our experience to work for you as we work to expunge your juvenile criminal record in Utah.
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