7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill makes specific changes regarding the expungement of information in state
10 agency files and creates a statement of legislative intent with regard to expungement.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ creates a new definition of "expunge";
14 ▸ requires that the state agencies remove information regarding expunged convictions
15 from public databases;
16 ▸ creates a statement of legislative intent for expungement; and
17 ▸ provides a stated purpose for expungement.
18 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20 Other Special Clauses:
22 Utah Code Sections Affected:
24 77-40-101, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 283
25 77-40-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 199
26 77-40-108, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapters 20 and 41
28 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
29 Section 1. Section 77-40-101 is amended to read:
30 77-40-101. Title -- Purpose -- Legislative intent.
31 (1) This chapter is known as the "Utah Expungement Act."
32 (2) The Legislature recognizes that an individual who has committed a criminal act and
33 paid his or her debt to society should, under certain circumstances, be able to move forward
34 and rebuild their life without being hindered by the past.
35 (3) The Legislature, therefore, finds and declares the following:
36 (a) The inability to obtain an expungement can prevent certain individuals from
37 obtaining gainful employment; however the need for employment should be balanced
38 appropriately against the desire for public safety.
39 (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that allowing for the expungement of certain
40 criminal offenses will provide an opportunity to:
41 (i) break the cycle of criminal recidivism;
42 (ii) increase public safety;
43 (iii) assist the growing population of offenders reentering the community to establish a
44 self-sustaining life through opportunities in employment; and
45 (iv) restore certain civil liberties to offenders to allow them to fully participate in
47 (c) This chapter provides for the expungement of certain arrest and conviction records
48 under limited circumstances. Obtaining an expungement of these records allows for the
49 complete removal of a record from all law enforcement agency databases.
50 Section 2. Section 77-40-102 is amended to read:
51 77-40-102. Definitions.
52 As used in this chapter:
53 (1) "Administrative finding" means a decision upon a question of fact reached by an
54 administrative agency following an administrative hearing or other procedure satisfying the
55 requirements of due process.
56 (2) "Agency" means a state, county, or local government entity that generates or
57 maintains records relating to an investigation, arrest, detention, or conviction for an offense for
58 which expungement may be ordered.
59 (3) "Bureau" means the Bureau of Criminal Identification of the Department of Public
60 Safety established in Section 53-10-201.
61 (4) "Certificate of eligibility" means a document issued by the bureau stating that the
62 criminal record and all records of arrest, investigation, and detention associated with a case that
63 is the subject of a petition for expungement is eligible for expungement.
64 (5) "Conviction" means judgment by a criminal court on a verdict or finding of guilty
65 after trial, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere.
66 (6) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety established in Section
68 (7) "Drug possession offense" means an offense under:
69 (a) Subsection 58-37-8(2), except any offense under Subsection 58-37-8(2)(b)(i),
70 possession of 100 pounds or more of marijuana, any offense enhanced under Subsection
71 58-37-8(2)(e), violation in a correctional facility or Subsection 58-37-8(2)(g), driving with a
72 controlled substance illegally in the person's body and negligently causing serious bodily injury
73 or death of another;
74 (b) Subsection 58-37a-5(1), use or possession of drug paraphernalia;
75 (c) Section 58-37b-6, possession or use of an imitation controlled substance; or
76 (d) any local ordinance which is substantially similar to any of the offenses described
77 in this Subsection (7).
78 (8) "Expunge" means to [
79 from a law enforcement agency's records the petitioner's record [
80 record includes reference to a criminal investigation, detention, arrest, or conviction.
81 (9) "Jurisdiction" means a state, district, province, political subdivision, territory, or
82 possession of the United States or any foreign country.
83 (10) "Petitioner" means a person seeking expungement under this chapter.
84 (11) "Seal" means to restrict access to a petitioner's record held by a law enforcement
85 agency when the record includes a criminal investigation, detention, arrest, or conviction.
87 ordinances that are substantially similar to the offenses:
88 (a) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 3, Traffic-Control Devices;
89 (b) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 6, Speed Restrictions;
90 (c) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 7, Driving on Right Side of Highway and Passing;
91 (d) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 8, Turning and Signaling for Turns;
92 (e) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 9, Right-of-Way;
93 (f) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 10, Pedestrians' Rights and Duties;
94 (g) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 11, Bicycles, Regulation of Operation;
95 (h) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 12, Railroad Trains, Railroad Grade Crossings, and
96 Safety Zones;
97 (i) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 13, School Buses and School Bus Parking Zones;
98 (j) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 14, Stopping, Standing, and Parking;
99 (k) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 15, Special Vehicles;
100 (l) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 16, Vehicle Equipment;
101 (m) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 17, Miscellaneous Rules; and
102 (n) Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 18, Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Usage Act.
103 Section 3. Section 77-40-108 is amended to read:
104 77-40-108. Distribution of order -- Redaction -- Receipt of order --
105 Administrative proceedings -- Bureau requirements.
106 (1) (a) A person who receives an order of expungement under this chapter or Section
107 77-27-5.1 shall be responsible for delivering a copy of the order of expungement to all affected
108 criminal justice agencies and officials including the court, arresting agency, booking agency,
109 prosecuting agency, Department of Corrections, and the bureau.
110 (b) A person who receives an order of expungement under Section 77-27-5.1, shall pay
111 a processing fee to the bureau, established in accordance with the process in Section 63J-1-504,
112 before the bureau's record may be expunged.
113 (2) Unless otherwise provided by law or ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction to
114 respond differently, a person who has received an expungement of an arrest or conviction
115 under this chapter or Section 77-27-5.1, may respond to any inquiry as though the arrest or
116 conviction did not occur.
117 (3) The bureau shall forward a copy of the expungement order to the Federal Bureau of
119 (4) An agency receiving an expungement order shall expunge the petitioner's
120 identifying information contained in records in its possession or under its control relating to the
121 incident for which expungement is ordered. The agency may retain the expunged or redacted
122 information internally in its files, however the information may not be made available to the
123 public or any other agency.
124 (5) The agency shall insure that information expunged in accordance with this chapter
125 is removed from any state-controlled database available to the public.
127 77-40-109(2), a government agency or official may not divulge information or records which
128 have been expunged regarding the petitioner contained in a record of arrest, investigation,
129 detention, or conviction after receiving an expungement order.
131 of records in its ordinary course of business until the agency has received a copy of the order.
132 (b) Any action taken by an agency after issuance of the order but prior to the agency's
133 receipt of a copy of the order may not be invalidated by the order.
135 (a) terminate or invalidate any pending administrative proceedings or actions of which
136 the petitioner had notice according to the records of the administrative body prior to issuance of
137 the expungement order;
138 (b) affect the enforcement of any order or findings issued by an administrative body
139 pursuant to its lawful authority prior to issuance of the expungement order; or
140 (c) remove any evidence relating to the petitioner including records of arrest, which the
141 administrative body has used or may use in these proceedings.