I urge your unanimous support for passage S.B. 201. What an honor to be alive and send you this message now. Accidents happen in life. And I will be having the privilege to speak to you at the Utah Capitol at the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee meeting in regards to this bill. I would like to publicly thank Utah Senator Curt Bramble for working with the Utah Department of Public Safety and myself as the Chief Sponsor of S.B. 201.
If a Utah Justice Court has a process in place to close an infraction or class C misdemeanor case and has no intention to impact a persons driver's license then this should be the same for a DAC report. The DAC employment report is a detailed summary of a Commercial Drivers License holders driving record, which pulls public records from courts all over the Nation. Every CDL holder should be given the due process before the Utah Department of Public Safety for a Certificate of Eligibility for expungement if a Utah Justice Court has measures in place to not impact your driver's license and your insurance rates. We obviously understand why these already existing measures are in place and how even more serious it is if someone is going to loose their job, not be hired on for a job, or be turned down for a promotion over something Utah has determined a lesson learned penalty process.
The sad fact is that Commercial Drivers License holders are being turned away from jobs or loosing the ability for a career promotion over this silly disconnect between the Utah Department of Public Safety and Utah Justice Courts. They need to be on the same page. Even though the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of these cases a DAC report is obtaining them, which is wrong.
It is clear that Utah Code / Constitution under Title 77 (Utah Code of Criminal Procedure) in Chapter 40 (Utah Expungement Act) needs to be honored by the Department of Public Safety and or amended to create jobs in Utah and S.B. 201 does this. This would be wise as it would invite CDL holders to consider Utah as home for them away from being on the road. They might get apartments, condos, or homes in Utah and we all know that Utah would be collecting so much more tax revenue in this process.
According to the Utah Expunging Adult Criminal Records Criteria for Expungement of Records of Crimes with a Conviction requires, Section 77-40-105, the following: the petitioner must first pay all fines, fees, restitution and interest. Unless a person has been pardoned for the offense, records of the following crimes cannot be expunged:
- a capital felony, first degree felony or violent felony;
- automobile homicide;
- felony driving under the influence; or
- a registerable sex offense;
And a person cannot expunge records of any conviction if:
- the petitioner provides false or misleading information on the application for the certificate of eligibility; (It is also a criminal offense to provide false or misleading information on the application.)
- there is a criminal case pending;
- the petitioner has been convicted in separate criminal episodes of:
- two or more felonies;
- three or more crimes of which two are class A misdemeanors;
- four or more crimes of which three are class B misdemeanors; or
- five or more crimes of any degree other than infractions.
It is clear that a criminal class C Misdemeanor or Infraction public guilty verdict case is defined in Section 76-1-401 requires three years, from the time from date petitioner was convicted or released from incarceration, probation or parole, whichever occurred last, should be allowed by the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI - publicsafety.utah.gov) of the Utah Department of Public Safety to issue a certificate of eligibility to the petitioner, because they have meet all of the criteria for eligibility.
And if a Utah Justice Court has arranged a Plea in Abeyance Agreement with Utah Municipal Cities, Counties, or State to allow for Traffic Court for criminal infractions to result in the case being closed without a public guilty verdict, then the case should be eligible for expungement after 30 days; from the date of the petitioner paying all fines, fees, restitution and interest. I ask for Section 76-1-401 be amended to allow for this Plea in Abeyance process of expungement after 30 days for criminal infraction or Class C misdemeanors. This would only make logistic sense since a Plea in Abeyance Agreement was intended to sealing the criminal case after the case has been resolved from the Utah DMV. Utah should do the samerestriction of public access to DAC and the only way to process an court expungement. And I realize expunged records are not necessarily destroyed. Expunged court records are placed in an envelope which is securely sealed. The clerk records the case number and record classification on the envelope and inscribes across the sealed part of the envelope the words "Not to be opened except upon permission of the court." The court record might eventually be destroyed in accordance with the court's Record Retention Schedule. And to start think about the fees generated from the, Subsection (1)(i)(i), Expungement $135.00 and Utah Department of Public Safety BCI charging a fee of background check being done each time. All I seriously ask is that we assist in creating jobs and revenue for Utah and be inviting for CDL holders to call our loving State of Utah home as so many others do. Senator Bramble, the Utah Department of Public Safety, and myself are working to put people back to work and let Truck Drivers across the Nation consider Utah their home away from home to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
So let's create jobs in Utah! Let's pass this bill Utah Legislators!
S.B. 201 http://le.utah.gov/~2012/htmdoc/sbillhtm/SB0201.htm