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. Bring the original certificate of eligibility to the Salt Lake City Justice Court within 90 days of the date it was issued. You may obtain an expungement packet at the court for a $2.00 fee, or you may obtain the on line expungement packet on this page. You must select the packet that is applicable to the disposition of your case, click on the packet links below.
- Petition to Expunge Records-Dismissal or Acquittal
- Petition to Expunge Records-Conviction
- Petition to Expunge Records-Drug Possession Conviction
- Petition to Expunge Records-Charges Never Filed
- Petition to Expunge Records-Special Certificate from BCI
- Consent and Waiver of Hearing
- Victim's Statement or Prosecutor's Statement
- Reply to Victim's Statement or Prosecutor's Statement or AP&P Response
3. Please fill out the forms in their entirety and submit them to the court. ONLY SIGN THE PETITION. The other forms are for the Judge and Prosecutor to sign. The following 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 and Certificate of Eligibility at the Prosecutor's Office, located at 349 South 200 East, 5th Floor. Once the prosecutor has reviewed the petition and provided a response, you will submit the response 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. A response should be received within 60 days.
5. 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.
|Expungement Petition Filing Fee||$135.00|
|Certified Copy fee for Expungement Order(s)||$30.00|
|Court Provided Expungement Forms (if applicable)||$2.00|
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.