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What is a Criminal Record?

Utah criminal records are documents that detail the criminal history information of persons within the state. These records encompass arrest reports as well as conviction information, dispositions and all reports pertaining to criminal activity of state residents. They are primarily generated by local law enforcement agencies which also disseminate the records and other related information in compliance with state law.

What is in a Criminal Record?

Criminal records in the state of Utah generally include the following:

  • The personal information of the subject: their full name, alias, birth date, nationality and gender
  • A mug shot and unique physical descriptors of the subject
  • A full set of fingerprints
  • Criminal offenses and consequent charges.
  • Details of past and most recent warrants, arrest history, convictions and dispositions

What are Arrest Records?

Utah arrest records are criminal records detailing the apprehension of persons allegedly involved in criminal activity within the state’s jurisdiction. These records typically contain information regarding the crime(s) with which the subject was involved as well as procedural details such as pending litigations, fines and instances of incarcerations. Arrest records in the state of Utah are generated by local and state law enforcement agencies, and may be released to interested persons provided the information contained in the record is not prejudicial to the arrestee or outdated. By Utah state laws, criminal suspects may be arrested if there are reasonable grounds to believe they committed the crime. Arrests and arrest records may not be considered connations of the suspect’s guilt unless conviction records are included therein. However, the information contained in arrest records may differ from subject to subject and may also vary by the jurisdiction where the record was generated.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

Utah arrest warrants are official documents issued and notarized by judges or magistrates on behalf of the local and state jurisdictions. These documents provide legal authorization to police officers seeking to arrest or detain the person or people named in the warrant or to search and seize the individual’s property.

Warrants typically state details of the crime, the date and time the suspect may be apprehended and bail/bond conditions and an estimated date when the warrant will expire or be recalled. However, expiry dates are not specified for bench warrants which are typically issued when the suspect fails to appear in court following a summon. On the other hand, the Utah Criminal Procedure code permits the police to arrest a person for committing a crime even without a warrant. In most cases, this occurs when a person commits the crime in an officer’s presence.

What are Misdemeanors in Utah?

Utah misdemeanors are non-indictable offenses that are generally known to be less severe than felonies. However, like felonies, a misdemeanor charge is categorized by a number-based system designed to describe the severity of the alleged crime. Misdemeanors in Utah are punishable by up to one year in county or local jail and are designated as class A, B, or C. A class A misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor in Utah, punishable by up to 1-year jail time and a fine of $2,500. Class C misdemeanors are the least serious crimes under Utah’s laws, punishable by 90 days jail time and/ or a fine of $750. Misdemeanors in Utah generally include:

  • Theft of property under $1000
  • Simple assault 
  • Public disturbance and related offenses
  • Traffic violations such as driving with a suspended license
  • Furnishing a minor with alcohol

What is a Felony in Utah?

Utah felony offenses are criminal convictions with a minimum sentence of one year or more which is typically served in a county jail or state prison. In some cases, a felony conviction can even be punished by death. In Utah, felonies are crimes punishable by terms in state prison. Utah lawmakers classify felonies as capital felonies or first, second, or third-degree felonies. In Utah, the most serious crimes are capital felonies, punishable by death, life in prison without parole, or 25 years’ to life imprisonment. Murder is an example of a capital felony, other felonies include:

  • Rape and other forms of aggravated sexual assault
  • Theft of property above $5000
  • Human trafficking 
  • Attempted murder and manslaughter
  • Arson 

Utah Sex Offender Listings

Utah sex offender listings refer to the local and state-managed registries which feature public information regarding convicted sex offenders in the state. As per Utah state laws, sex offender registries are public record and are complied by various jurisdictions and their law enforcement agencies. However, the Utah Department of Corrections Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry serves as the central repository of all sex-offender related information. Persons included on these registries are listed following a court order indicating that the accused’s crimes require registration based on the national sex offender registration law. Judges may order adult offenders to be listed on a registry if the crime they were convicted of were sexually motivated.

Utah Megan’s Law

Utahs Megan’s law is an offshoot of the national law and is the basis for which the state operates a variety of sex offender registries through local law enforcement agencies. All sex offenders within state limits are required to be included in the Utah Sex Offender Registry which serves as the national database of the state. This registration is compulsory for offenders who have pled guilty or been found guilty of the following offenses: gross sexual imposition; continuous sexual abuse of a child; sexual imposition; corruption or solicitation of minors; luring minors by computer; sexual assault; incest; indecent exposure; surreptitious intrusion; sexual performance by children (all offenses).

Megan's Law is the term for state laws that create and maintain a sex offender registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders to the public. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government implemented a requirement that all states establish sex offender registries and provide the public with information about those registered.

What are Serious Traffic Violations?

Utah’s serious traffic violations include all offenses pertaining to the willful disregard for public safety. These violations may result in death, serious bodily injury, damage to property and/or other minor traffic offenses which resulted as a consequence of the violation.

The state of Utah operates a point distribution system with which traffic offenses are assigned points based on their severity.  Offenses with the highest points such as reckless driving, speeding, tailgating, and failure to yield the right-of-way may be considered serious traffic violations. Offenses with lesser points are often classified as infractions. Typically the traffic ticket fine issued will depend primarily on the traffic violation and the issuing court. All offenders convicted of a traffic violation, have points added to their driving record by the Utah Driver License Division (DLD) of the Department of Public Safety. Offenders, who accumulate more than 200 points within 3 years may lose their driving privileges temporarily or irreversibly.

What are Conviction Records?

Utah conviction records are documents that provide information regarding the judgment and/or sentence delivered to or being served by persons who were found guilty of a criminal offense.  These records typically feature the personal information of the subject of the record as well as details of the suspect’s past and most current criminal charges and applicable sentences.

Conviction records are primarily maintained by local law enforcement agencies and court officials. They are generally made available to interested members of the public unless otherwise ruled by a court order. Records of delinquent-related offenses and judgments are also restricted from public access but may be obtained by persons who subpoena the document.

These records also include details of dishonorable discharges of the subject as well as probation, fines, or parole. However, judgments that have been deleted by a pardon, set aside or reversed are often excluded.

What are Criminal Court Judgements?

Criminal court judgments refer to the judgment and/or consequent sentence(s) delivered by the presiding judge at the end of a criminal court proceeding. They include any prison sentences, community service, fines or mandatory counseling sessions or courses depending on the crime or charges filed. The final resolution is primarily dependent on how the trial is orchestrated.


What Happens During a Criminal Case?

In the state of Utah, Criminal cases are processed depending on the case type, the location of the crime and whether or not the case goes to trial. Notwithstanding, criminal trials are typically executed in the below-stated order:

  • Charge filing and arrest:

    All criminal cases in Utah begin with a charge being filed against a person. This often serves as the jump-off point for the search and/or arrest warrant and subsequent arrest (if applicable). With the case filed, the accused automatically becomes the defendant and the accuser the prosecutor

  • First Appearance:

    Following the charges filed or the arrest, the court is tasked with notifying the defendant of their charges upon making the initial appearance. At this appearance, bail or bond is also set, as is the date for the conference hearing.

  •  Waiver and Preliminary Hearing (Felonies and Class A Misdemeanors)

    At the waiver hearing, the attornies attempt to negotiate a satisfactory case settlement in the presence of a presiding judge. If no resolution is reached, a date for the preliminary hearing is fixed, at which the available evidence will be considered and in the lack of any tangible evidence, the case may be dismissed

  • Arraignment

    During the arraignment, charges are read and pleas are announced. Guilty pleas fast track the process to sentencing while non-guilty pleas are followed by pre-trial conferences

  • Pre-trial Conferences and Motions

    Once again the defense attorney and prosecutor attempt to negotiate a settlement at a pre-trial conference. If this is unsuccessful, pre-trial motions may be filed

  • The trial, Judgment & Sentencing

    Trials are conducted such that a judge or jury determines the innocence or guilt of the accused. Following the final verdict, the charges may be dismissed or the defendant may be found not guilty or guilty. Guilty judgments are typically followed by sentences usually determined by the presiding authority.

  • Appeal

    Unsatisfactory trials may be appealed and re-tried at courts in the same jurisdiction.

What are Jail and Inmate Records?

Utah jail and inmate records refer to the official documents containing information regarding a person’s current or past incarceration status. These records are typically generated and maintained and by the Utah Department of Corrections and often include the personal information of the detainee as well as details of their sentences. The information contained in the record includes the inmate’s full name and aliases, their mugshot and details of any physical descriptors, a detailed account of their conviction and the incarceration/prospective release dates.

Where to find Parole Information

Utah parole records feature information regarding the release of a prisoner who agreed to certain conditions prior to the completion of their maximum sentence. While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board shall require as a condition of parole that they pay a monthly supervision fee of not less than $30, unless the board agrees to accept a lower fee after determining the inability of the prisoner to pay. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it deems appropriate in order to ensure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Utah are served.

Utah Probation Records

Utah probation records are considered a kind of criminal record that depicts that an individual was granted supervised non-prison sentence, often as an alternative to jail time. Following the state’s probation program, Utah state prisoners may be allowed to serve their sentences out of detention. Utah probation records are primarily generated maintained and disseminated by the Adult Probation & Parole Divison of the Utah Department of Corrections. The records include information include the personal information of the subject, details of their criminal offense and probation sentence.  Also included on the record may be details of the probation conditions which the individual may be required to meet, or otherwise risk full prison time. These conditions are often similar for most Utah parolees and persons on probation and most records may be obtained by querying the division.

Where to Find Criminal Records

In the state of Utah, criminal records are maintained and issued by the local and state law enforcement agencies which are often in charge of their generation. However, the Utah Department of Public Safety serves as the state’s primary custodian of criminal history information. These records may be sourced locally from city or county law enforcement agencies or can be retrieved at the state level. However, the information that will be provided will often be dependent on the authority of the requestor.

The Utah Department of Public Safety manages the state's central repository of criminal history information, while the Bureau of Criminal Identification is tasked with the dissemination of these records to interested persons. Various jurisdictions in the state of Utah employ different methods of criminal record generation and maintenance. However, most records are available through online record depositories which are often open to the public.

How to find Juvenile Criminal Records

Utah juvenile criminal records are official records pertaining to the criminal activity of persons under legal adult age or considered adolescent. These records are not considered the same as adult criminal records as juveniles are not considered convicts but may rather found to be “adjudicated delinquent" and unlike adult records, they are not open to members of the public. the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. In the state of Utah, access to juvenile criminal records is somewhat restricted to agencies and individuals in the criminal justice system and in a limited set of circumstances, prospective employers may access juvenile court records. But while these records remain closed to most persons, the state of Utah does not provide for thorough sealing unless the subject obtains an expungement when they reach legal adult age -- 18.

Utah History and Accuracy of Criminal Records

Following the establishment of the Utah State Archives and Records Service in 1917, giant strides have been made in the adoption of modern record-keeping practices for the management of historically valuable records. Prior to this, criminal record generation and management was the responsibility of various local administrative offices and law enforcement agencies. In recent years this, and other related data have been centralized into an organized database with modern technological practices easing the archiving process and eliminating the limitations and inaccuracies of human error.

Utah State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (435) 210-6460

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Criminal Record

Criminal Record