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Effect of Criminal Record Expungement

The Utah Expungement Act provides for the rules and procedures governing expungement of criminal records in Utah. An order from the court to expunge a record will seal the official record, and make the record unavailable for the public to view. If someone requests a criminal record from a governmental agency, the agency will respond to the request as if the arrest did not occur. However, certain governmental officials will still be able to view a criminal record after it has been sealed, and in certain cases, the record can be unsealed.

Utah law does permit the disclosure of a criminal record that has been expunged to the following agencies and in the following situations:

  • The Board of Pardons and Parole
  • Peace Officer Standards and Training
  • Federal agencies
  • The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
  • The State Office of Education
  • For evidence in subsequent felony trials
  • For judicial sentencing
  • For use in civil actions

Expungement of a criminal record is actually a civil proceeding, even though the records to be sealed are criminal records, the Petition for Expungement is filed where the criminal case was filed, and the procedure is governed by Utah’s criminal code.

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