While there may be some hoops to jump through, getting your adult criminal record expunged is a sought after process by many in Utah. Here are a few things you should know about how to expunge your adult criminal record.
“Expunge” means the court orders that the records of your arrest, investigation, detention, or conviction in a criminal case are sealed. When the record is *sealed, the public cannot view or copy the record. That means that you may legally deny or fail to acknowledge things such as your arrest, prosecution, or conviction.
*Sealed means the court records are placed into an envelope that is securely sealed. An inscription across the sealed part reads: “Not to be opened except upon permission of the court.”
However, sealed records are not destroyed. Some government officials may be able to view or copy your records. And in some limited circumstances, the court may also unseal them.
When a record is being considered for sealing or expungement, the process will follow one of two sets of rules depending on if the record has a conviction or no conviction.
Expunging a record without a conviction, as you would expect, has fewer rules and complications than expunging a record with a *conviction. This type of expungement applies if your record includes arrest, investigation, or detention for a crime with no conviction.
*Conviction is defined as a plea of guilty, a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), or verdict or finding of guilt after trial.
The following three things must be true in order to file for expungement of a record without a conviction:
There are quite a few more criteria that must be met in order to be eligible to expunge your record if you have a conviction.
If you are not currently eligible for expungement of your record, you still have one more option: you may apply for a pardon by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. If you have been pardoned, you are eligible to expunge records of crimes for which you have been pardoned.
Read Part 2 of this article next week.
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