Fee waiver to help Utahns clear their criminal record about to expire
Jun 21, 2023, 6:24 PM | Updated: 6:25 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Approximately one in three Utahns has a criminal record and wants that social barrier removed. But a fee waiver that makes that process a lot more affordable ends June 30, so eligible Utahns should act now.
Utah’s Clean Slate Law is a game changer for Utahns with criminal records who want to get back on the right path without that stigma. But, an expungement will cost more come July.
Utahns can check their expungement eligibility here: rasa-legal.com
“I always had to report it. I did have misdemeanors, and so often what I would do is, I would explain myself,” Lisa Walker said. She had a brush with the criminal justice system in her 20s due to a substance use disorder and ended up with a criminal record.
“I took care of those consequences at the time,” she said. “But the thing is that has now stayed on my record for 19 years.”
Due to the fee waiver, and the clean slate program, she has been able to expunge her criminal record, that made it hard to get a job, housing and to continue education. Even though she was in recovery and rebuilding her life, she always had to explain herself.
“It definitely impacts housing, and definitely employment. I’m sure there were some positions I wasn’t able to get because of the record.”
Under Utah’s Clean Slate Law, many misdemeanor and felony records are eligible for expungement — with the exception of violent crimes and sex crimes.
During the NBA All-Star weekend, earlier this year, more than 350 people with criminal records showed up for a clean slate clinic and got legal advice from attorneys volunteering their services. An expungement seals the record from public view.
“When someone obtains an expungement, they can check ‘NO’ on that job or housing application when asked if they have a criminal record,” Noella Sudbury, CEO and founder of Rasa Legal said. “And, that legal right to check ‘NO’ can really open up opportunities for people who may be struggling with their past.”
But the fee waiver provisions sunset at the end of the month. An expungement application needs to be received by BCI, or postmarked no later than June 30 to have all certificate fees waived. Citizens still have a $65 application fee, but will not pay an additional $65 for each case which really runs out the cost for some people.
Walker estimates she would’ve paid $1200 without the waiver.
“Honestly, I was so proud of it, I could have just shouted it from the rooftops … to be record free,” Walker said.
“It can be life-changing to get an expungement,” Sudbury said.
Rasa Legal has a tool you can use to determine whether you are eligible for expungement at rasa-legalcom.