Courts - Expungement
The Utah Expungement Act governs how to expunge records of an arrest or conviction in Utah, regardless of when a person was arrested or convicted.
Expunging a criminal record does not change history; expunging a record means that the court orders the records of the arrest, investigation, detention and conviction in the criminal case sealed. Sealing a record means that the public cannot view or copy the record. Conviction includes a verdict or finding of guilty after trial, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere (no contest).
If an agency does not receive the expungement order, they are not required to seal their records. A government agency that has received an expungement order will respond to an inquiry as though that arrest or conviction did not occur. A person who has had records expunged may respond to an inquiry as though that arrest or conviction did not occur. The order to seal records applies only to government agencies. Other records, such as news accounts of an arrest or conviction, are not affected.
After a record is expunged, an agency's sealed records can still be viewed and copied by some government officials, and the court can order the records unsealed under some conditions. Although the records being expunged are criminal records, the petition to expunge is a civil case. In proceedings to expunge a record, the defendant in the criminal case is the petitioner in the expungement case.
How to Get an Expungement
1. You must first obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), before filing a petition to expunge records. Your expungement eligibility will be based upon your total criminal history, not just what has been reported to the Bureau of Criminal Identification. BCI will conduct a thorough background check, including incidents in all states and previous expungements. BCI will notify you by mail of your approval or denial. BCI is located at 3888 West 5400 South Taylorsville, Utah 84118 -3549, phone number (801) 965-4445. To get started, you may download the Expungement Application Form from BCI's Department of Public Safety website. There will be a charge at BCI for the certificate and background check. Click here to get information in PDF format, regarding the certificate of eligibility process at BCI.
2. Once you have received the certificate of eligibility from BCI, bring the certificate to the Salt Lake City Justice Court within 90 days of the date it was issued and file it along with your petition. There are fees that are applicable upon filing. The following are fees associated with the expungement process.
|Expungement Petition Filing Fee||$135.00|
|Certified Copy fee for Expungement Order(s)||$30.00|
|Court Provided Expungement Forms (if applicable)||$2.00|
**If you need an additional certified copy, there will be an additional fee of $6.00**
You must select the packet that is applicable to the disposition of your case, click on the packet links below.
3. Please fill out the forms in their entirety and submit them to the court. ONLY SIGN THE PETITION. The Acceptance of Service form is for the Prosecutor to sign and the Order is the for the Judge to sign-do not sign those. The fees will need to be paid at the time the petition for expungement is submitted to the court.
4. Serve the Prosecuting Attorney, a copy of the Petition, the Acceptance of Service and Certificate of Eligibility at the Prosecutor's Office, located at 349 South 200 East, 5th Floor. The prosecutor will review your petition and provide a response to you. Once you have received a response, submit the response to the Salt Lake City Justice Court as soon as possible. If you prefer the prosecutor's office to mail your packet back to you, you will need to provide them with a self-addressed stamped envelope when you present your paperwork to them. A response should be received within 60 days.
5. Once the court has received your response from the prosecutor, the Judicial Assistant will submit your completed expungement packet to the Judge assigned to your case for final review and order. Once the order of expungement has been signed by the Judge, you will be notified by phone indicating that your documents are available for pick-up. It is your responsibility to pick up your documents promptly and process them completely, by distributing copies to all agencies involved.
You are responsible for service of the order to all agencies involved. You will receive 5 certified copies of the order to distribute as follows:
- Bureau of Criminal Identification - 1 copy
- The arresting agency - 1 copy
- The booking agency - 1 copy
- The prosecuting agency - 1 copy
- Your records - 1 copy
Please note that until each agency receives the completed and certified packet, the case is not expunged in that agency.