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The Actual Clean Slate: Expunging a Criminal Record (UTAH specific)

Wipe-the-slate-clean-Clean-Slate-Scotland_1000

(Note:  This is a UTAH specific article, but there are processes in other states for expunging your criminal record as well.  Go to your state’s courts website for more information, or contact an attorney.)

While I’m not in private practice anymore, I still do some private representation on the side.  Little things, ya know?  Like pro bono misdemeanor defense in justice courts.  For people’s Wayward Children who aren’t technically children as far as the legal age of majority is concerned.  The occasional possession of drug paraphernalia, drug possession, speeding way too fast in a construction zone in the middle of the night…you know, things that are done by young adults before their frontal lobes fully develop, and before they have the capacity to use a little better judgment (and remember not to talk to cops!)

These kinds of things can really mess up your life if they’re not handled properly, which is why I do pro bono representation.  But I also know that these sorts of crimes don’t have to stick with you for the rest of your life, especially once you’ve grown up, are using better judgment, and don’t keep getting in trouble.  You can wipe this sort of thing away, by getting an expungement.  This is a legal way of getting your past criminal/arrest history sealed, so that it can’t come up against you when you’re looking for a job, trying to get financial aid at a college or tech school, etc.

The process is described at Title 77, Chapter 40 of the Utah Code, called the Utah Expungement Act.  The statute says who can get one, and what the process is, but it’s a little hard to follow.  The Utah courts website, however, has instructions on how to get it done, what you need to do, and links to the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) websites with more info and forms, AND it’s written in plain English (but use this link above to the BCI website, because it goes directly to the expungements info page with links and instructions).

You CANNOT expunge everything, and the BCI page and Utah courts website spell out what all you can’t.  You CAN, however, expunge some sex offenses, just not ones that are “registerable” offenses (a list is found at U.C.A. 77-4-106).  Check the statute you were convicted under; if it wasn’t one in the list, or if you don’t have to register as a sex offender, you may be able to get that expunged as well.  Definitely worth a look.

A lot of us have done dumb things at different times in our lives.  That Dumb Thing need not define YOUR life.  Look into it; BCI was even nice enough to put together a pamphlet with basics on getting an expungement.

And by the way, you don’t need a lawyer to do this, but I’m always happy to answer questions of you have them.

Yesterday is History

Do it Today.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Because All Things Come to an End (Good or Otherwise)

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post.  It’s been a very busy year for me.  Much of my year has involved a fair amount of scrambling to keep myself financially afloat.  I’ve also been engrossed in my own divorce case modification (yes, I have a lawyer…Bless her.  She’s doing my case pro bono because I am BROKE.)  I’ve also been involved in some other personal changes that have been time consuming, AND have dealt with health issues that have been debilitating at times.

Yup, I've got nothin'...

Yup, I’ve got nothin’…

So I come to this….My clients are as broke as I am, bless them.  Unfortunately for all of us, however, when they can’t pay me, I can’t pay my bills either.  At this point in my life I am finding that I can no longer afford to practice law–or at least, family law.  And since that’s all I know how to do law-wise right now, I’m leaving the practice of law.

Effective December 31, 2014, I am closing my law practice.  I still retain my law license, and have some cases I’ll stay on until they finish up (because they will conclude in January), but will otherwise cease to function as a full time attorney.  I’m looking for regular paycheck kind of paying work.  And I’m getting trained to be a private guardian ad litem, to work with kids in district court cases.

It’s really been a crazy run.  I’ve had some incredibly AWESOME clients….And some less awesome ones as well.  Divorces suck.  They’re sad, always, even if they’re the right thing to do.  I’m hoping taking a break from the practice of family law will help me lose some of the cynicism I have regarding marriage these days, and maybe help me regain some of my sanity.  To my AWESOME clients, I say Thank You.  You have made the practice of family law bearable for the time I have done it, and I will always appreciate the association with you and how you have enriched my life in intangible ways.

I’ll be keeping up the blog (probably better than I have been to date), and will still keep up with the law.  So if you have questions, or a suggestion for a blog article, please feel free to let me know.

Seriously.  It's come to this. :(

Seriously. It’s come to this. 😦

Google Ads for Other Lawyers on My Blog

Because WordPress.com is a free blog site, they will sometimes insert ads into my blog. Sometimes these are ads for OTHER lawyers that are NOT me. I would love it if you would use ME as your lawyer. However, you get to make that choice, and having ads does give you a better idea of the options for lawyers out there.

Until such a time as I can get the ads eliminated, please do not assume that any particular lawyer with an ad showing up on my site is in any way endorsed or recommended by me. I don’t know all of the lawyers in the area; I can’t speak to their ability or character. Should you need a lawyer, please go through the appropriate steps to make a good decision on who represents you. And if you need a refresher, or don’t know what those steps would be, refer to my blog post about finding a lawyer.

Categories: Uncategorized

Suggestions?

I have plans to post in the near future on such legal topics as guardianships and sex offenses–specifically, what constitutes a sex offense, how one can commit a sex offense without really trying (specifically, teenagers), and what you can never gain legal forgiveness from in this life.  I’m also going to post about legal fees–why they’re so high, and generally what that’s All About.

If you have suggestions of something YOU have a question about, or would like to see elucidated by my oh, so sophisticated Legal Mind 😉 on this blog, please let me know in the comments section of any post.

M

Categories: Uncategorized
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