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
- You must first obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), located at 3888 West 5400 South Taylorsville, Utah 84118 -3549, phone number, (801) 965-4445. 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.
Bring the original certificate of eligibility to the Salt Lake City Justice Court and obtain a petition for expungement. Please bring proper identification when obtaining your expungement packet. You can also obtain the expungement packet online, fill them out and bring them in. These forms will be notarized/signed by a court clerk, therefore ID will be required. The following fees will need to be paid at the time the petition for expungement is submitted to the court.
Serve the prosecuting attorney, a copy of the petition and certificate of eligibility. Once the prosecutor has reviewed the receipt, consent and waiver of hearing, you will submit this form back to the Salt Lake City Justice Court. 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.
- Completed expungement packets will be submitted to the Judge assigned to your case for final approval. Once the order of expungement has been signed by the Judge, you will be notified by phone indicating that your papers are available for pick-up.
|Certified Copy Fee||$30.00|
When is Expungement allowed?
An expungement is allowed after the closed date of your court case, depending upon the charges.
|Any alcohol related traffic offense (Title 41)||10 years from closing date|
|Class B Misdemeanor Conviction||4 years from closing date|
|Class C Misdemeanors & Infraction Convictions||3 years from closing date|
|Arrests without filing of charges||30 days from arrest|
|Proceedings commenced & dismissed||30 days from closing date|
|Acquittals||30 days from closing date|
You, not the court, are responsible for service of the order to the affected agencies. You will receive 5 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.