Can You Get a DUI Expunged in Utah? A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding DUI Record Removal

Man driving car upset while being tested for driving under the influence

29 Aug 2023 / Gravis Law

Can You Get a DUI Expunged in Utah? A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding DUI Record Removal


Getting charged with a DUI in Utah can lead to severe consequences that can affect your life for years to come. A DUI conviction leads to hefty fines, possible jail time, mandatory alcohol education classes, license suspension, and a permanent criminal record.


Take a breath, and know that it will be alright. You do have options when it comes to cleaning up your criminal record in Utah.


Gravis Law has guided many clients over the years and has helped clients with their DUI cases. For your free legal consultation, call us today at 385.213.2798.

Understanding DUI Charges in Utah

Let’s start with the basics. DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” It refers to operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Some key facts about DUIs in Utah:

  • The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .05%. Anyone caught driving with a BAC at or above this level can be arrested for DUI.

  • First-time DUI convictions are classified as class B misdemeanor and felonys in Utah. They carry penalties of up to 6 months in jail, fines up to $1,000, and license suspension for 120 days.

  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test will result in an 18-month license revocation for a first offense.

  • Utah has strict laws against DUIs involving minors. If you’re caught driving impaired with a minor passenger, penalties increase significantly.

  • Your DUI arrest and conviction will remain on your permanent criminal record in Utah. This can show up on background checks when applying for jobs, housing, etc.

Is DUI Expungement Possible in Utah?

The short answer is yes – you can petition to have a Utah DUI expunged from your criminal record under certain conditions.


Utah expungement laws allow for DUI charges to be removed from your record 10 years after the date of conviction. However, only your first DUI offense is eligible for expungement in Utah. Second or subsequent DUIs cannot be expunged.


Here are the basic requirements for expunging a first-time DUI in Utah:


  • It’s been at least 10 years since the date of your conviction.

  • It was your first and only DUI offense.

  • You have not been convicted of any other crimes during the 10-year waiting period.

  • You successfully completed all court-ordered probation and substance abuse treatment programs.

  • You paid all fines and fees associated with your case in full.

  • If you meet all the above criteria, you may petition the court to have your DUI conviction expunged. The process can be complex, so working with an experienced Utah expungement lawyer is highly recommended.

Why Expunge a DUI from Your Record?

Having a DUI on your record in Utah comes with many consequences that can follow you for years. That first offense will always show up on background checks when you apply for jobs, professional licensing, housing, loans, and other opportunities.

Expunging your Utah DUI conviction offers several benefits:


  • Increased employment opportunities: Many employers are reluctant to hire anyone with a DUI. Expungement gives you a clean slate when job hunting.

  • Easier access to housing: Landlords often deny rental applications for anyone with a criminal history. Expungement removes this barrier to obtaining housing.

  • Eligibility for professional licensing: Certain career fields require professional licenses that may be denied to those with DUIs. Expungement opens up more career possibilities.

  • Better rates on auto insurance: Having a DUI raises your car insurance rates significantly. Expungement allows you to get lower insurance rates again.

  • Ability to adopt or be a foster parent: DUI convictions can prevent you from adopting children or serving as a foster parent. Expungement removes this impediment.

  • Increased access to student loans: DUI charges on your record can prevent you from qualifying for certain student loans and grants.

  • Improved credit score: Negative items like DUIs on your record bring down your credit score. An expungement helps raise your credit rating.

  • Reduced public stigma: DUIs carry significant societal stigma. Expunging the offense helps you avoid judgment and live free of a scarlet letter on your record.

Step-by-Step Guide to Expunging a DUI in Utah

If you meet the eligibility criteria, here is an overview of the DUI expungement process in Utah:


1. Obtain Your Criminal History Report

File a records request to obtain your complete criminal history report from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification. Review the report closely to verify your DUI conviction date and confirm you have no other disqualifying convictions.

2. Complete Expungement Petition Paperwork

Complete a Petition for Expungement of Records and an Order for Expungement of Records. These documents are available from the Utah State Courts website. Fill them out fully and accurately. The court will review your petition to verify your eligibility.

3. File Your Petition with the Court

File your expungement petition and order paperwork with the court in the Utah county where you were originally convicted. You will have to pay a filing fee around $150.

4. Attend Your Hearing

The court will schedule a hearing 4-6 weeks after you file your petition. You must attend this hearing before a judge. The judge will review your petition and may ask you questions to determine your eligibility.

5. Court Approval or Denial

If approved, the judge will sign your proposed expungement order. This authorizes the removal of your DUI conviction from Utah’s criminal records. If your petition is denied, ask your lawyer about any options to appeal the decision.

6. Distribution of Expungement Order

Once approved and signed by a judge, the court will distribute copies of the expungement order to all applicable criminal agencies. This includes the Bureau of Criminal Identification, Driver License Division, and arresting agency.

7. Verification of Expungement

After sufficient time for your expungement order to take effect, obtain another copy of your criminal history report. Verify that the DUI conviction no longer appears. Maintain this clean record in your personal files.

Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Expungement in Utah

1. How much does it cost to expunge a DUI in Utah?

Between attorney fees and court filing costs, you can expect to pay around $2,000 – $3,000 for a Utah DUI expungement.


2. Will my driving record still show the DUI after expungement?

Yes. Expungement only removes the DUI from your criminal record, not your driving record maintained by the DMV.

3. Does expungement delete the DUI completely?

No. Expunged Utah DUIs can still be seen by certain agencies, such as law enforcement or immigration officials. For most civilian purposes, though, it will be removed.

4. Can I expunge a Utah DUI myself without a lawyer?

It’s possible but challenging. Utah courts set a high bar for DUI expungements. Having an attorney greatly boosts approval odds.

5. How long does it take to complete DUI expungement in Utah?

From start to finish, expect the process to take 6-8 months depending on the court’s schedule. The waiting period is the longest part.

Give Yourself a Fresh Start

As you can see, obtaining a DUI expungement in Utah requires perseverance and following strict processes. While the waiting period can be difficult, the outcome is worth it. Having your record cleared of that first DUI conviction can open new doors for your future.


Finding the Right Utah DUI Expungement Attorney

Trying to navigate Utah’s expungement process without an attorney is extremely difficult. The law sets high standards for DUI record removal eligibility. Having an experienced DUI lawyer in Utah in your corner significantly increases your chances of success.


When researching DUI expungement lawyers in Utah, be sure to choose someone who:


  • Focuses specifically on criminal record expungements

  • Has a proven track record of successfully expunging DUIs

  • Is very familiar with Utah expungement laws and court procedures

  • Will thoroughly review your eligibility before filing your petition

  • Will personally handle every aspect of your case from start to finish

  • Take your time to find the best attorney for your situation. Removing that DUI from your record will be life-changing. An expungement lawyer can make it happen.


If you’re serious about removing your DUI from Utah records for good, find an expungement lawyer who can make it happen. Your fresh start is closer than you think.


Our team at Gravis Law gives you personalized attention and privacy concerning your DUI case. Call our skilled attorneys today at 385.213.2798 for more information.



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