Mistakes made years ago can come back to haunt you when trying to begin a career or rent a decent apartment. One conviction can cause you to be turned down by a potential employer or potential residence. If you have suffered the collateral consequences of a criminal record due to an old mistake, contact Skeen & Robinson at 801-266-7414 to schedule a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers may be able to help you clear your record and achieve your goals without constant repercussions from old mistakes.
What Is Expumgement?
Under Utah law, expungement is a process by which a judge clears the public record of your previous criminal conviction and seals the court files regarding that conviction. This is often deemed having your record sealed. It is not an automatic process. If you want to clear your criminal record, you will have to speak with an attorney, determine if you are eligible, and begin the process in your local court system.
If you are able to obtain an expungement, then your history will look as if that conviction never happened. It will not come up on background checks.
The Benefits of Expungement
There are a number of advantages to having a criminal conviction expunged. Convictions, particularly for felonies, can hold you back from obtaining a professional license or being hired for a good job. You may have found you have to work at whatever job will hire you, even if it is below your skill level or does not pay enough to support yourself and your family.
In addition to helping your career, clearing your criminal record can help you go to school and obtain private and federal loans. If you have been wanting to go to college or begin an apprenticeship but were worried about your record, an expungement will give you a clean slate to move forward with your goals.
You may also have experienced difficulties in renting safe and affordable places to live. With a clean record, a potential landlord is less likely to deny your rental application.
The Process Of Obtaining An Expungement
Once you and your attorney determine you meet the basic qualifications for expungement, you must begin the legal process. This requires obtaining the order of the conviction you want to have sealed. Your lawyer can contact the county clerk where you were convicted to get these records. Next, your lawyer will file the initial paperwork to begin the proceeding.
Once the paperwork is filed along with the court fee, you hearing date will be set. Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer may attend this hearing alone or advise you to come along. At the hearing, your attorney will prepare a statement regarding your rehabilitation and need for an expungement.
The Judge Has Discretion
Obtaining an expungement heavily depends on showing the judge that you have been rehabilitated, are highly unlikely to commit another crime, and are a productive member of the community. It is in the judge’s hands whether or not you can have your records sealed, even if you meet all of the basic eligibility requirements. This means your attorney may have you take additional steps to prove your record should be altered to the judge.
Schedule A Confidential Consultation
We offer a no-obligation consultation for you to discuss the details of your case openly. Use the online contact form or call 801-266-7414 to meet with the firm's highly qualified Utah criminal defense and malpractice attorneys. The firm is located in Salt Lake City at 5788 South 900 East, and represents clients in northern Utah. Our track record is evidence of our ability to produce positive results in high-pressure situations.