Fees for Expungements in Utah Soon to Increase
July 6, 2023
A pilot program that benefitted Utah residents with criminal records will soon expire. This program allowed eligible residents to file for an expungement of their criminal records with highly reduced government fees. Unfortunately, the pilot program will expire on June 30, 2023.
Many view the program as highly successful, saving hundreds of dollars for individuals in the expungement process. Expungements allow individuals to petition a court to seal their case records, preventing the public from accessing the information. Without a court order, the public cannot view the investigation, arrest, conviction, and any sentences involved with the erased records.
Once expunged, an individual can state on applications for employment or housing that they have no criminal record. This freedom often improves an individual’s ability to gain employment and housing, as the sealed records would no longer appear on most background checks. Roughly one in four Utah residents have criminal records, amounting to over 800,000 people. This number has led to an increased interest in expungements across the state.
This interest inspired HB 392’s pilot program, the Expungement Fee Amendments. It removed the exorbitant expungement fees often associated with eliminating a criminal record. Other deducted expenses include those getting a certificate of eligibility from the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) and general court fees.
Removing these fees from the record expungement process resulted in individuals paying only $65 for the application. Ordinarily, an individual must pay the application fee and the associated BCI fees for each case they want to seal. Following this, they must also pay the district court filing fees. However, HB 392 temporarily changed these requirements, allowing eligible individuals to waive most of the abovementioned expenses.
A state representative sponsored HB 323 in the last legislative session. Had it received approval, this bill would extend the fee reduction. Unfortunately, it failed to make headway, confirming the expungement fees would return when the pilot program ends on June 30, 2023.
As the pilot program approaches its end, employers should take this time to review their hiring policies. For example, they should consider what criminal records disqualify someone from employment. Working with a trustworthy background check provider is the best way to get started. The right partner will use their experience with second-chance hiring programs to deliver accurate and timely reports. Finally, they would ensure the organization navigates the process effectively while complying with all related laws.
Discover the benefits of JDP’s seamless background checks for your business. Contact a Sales representative today.