What Exactly Is A 402 Sentence Reduction?

A 402 sentence reduction is a reduction in the degree of the crime charged, and can be found under Utah Code 7716-402. The 402 sentence reduction allows a defendant to reduce the level of the offense by one degree, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, a third degree felony could be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor, or an A misdemeanor could be reduced to a B misdemeanor. The reduction can occur at the time of sentencing, or after successful completion of probation.

Why Does Someone Seek Out The 402 Sentence Reduction Program?

The main reason that someone would want to have a 402 reduction is because it allows for a reduction of their charge, which in and of itself can result in a shorter amount of time before expungement becomes an option. In order to have a felony expunged in Utah, it’s a seven-year waiting period after the termination of probation. A Class A misdemeanor, on the other hand, only carries a five-year waiting period. So, that makes a two year difference as far as when a person could possibly expunge their criminal record and clean up their history. The same type of reduction applies to misdemeanor infractions; if the charge is a C misdemeanor and the 402 motion is granted, it could be reduced to an infraction.

Will A 402 Sentence Reduction Possibly Restore My Civil Rights?

A 402 reduction can restore an individual’s civil rights. A person can receive a one or two-step reduction in their charge. For example, if an individual is charged with a second degree felony and they are granted a two-step reduction, they could end up with only a Class A misdemeanor. By changing their felony reduction to a misdemeanor, you are restoring their civil rights and giving them the opportunity to possess weapons, vote, and not have a felony conviction on their record. It’s a very valuable tool that criminal lawyers use all the time.

What Is the Criteria To Qualify For A 402 Sentence Reduction?

In order to qualify for a 402 reduction, it has to be agreed upon by the prosecutor once the case is resolved and they are having a plea negotiation. Part of the plea is that the defendant be placed on probation, and it can happen right at the sentencing. For example, in dealing with a third degree felony theft offense, the defense attorney can make a motion right then and there to have it reduced to a Class A misdemeanor. The other way of qualifying for the 402 is by successfully completing probation and any other requirements of the court. So, a person can qualify for a 402 sentence reduction either on stipulation of the prosecutor, or by successful completion of probation and acceptance by the judge.

What Is The Process To Get A 402 Sentence Reduction?

The process of getting a 402 sentence reduction typically requires a review of the record. I would need to know exactly what the charge is, how long it’s been since the case closed, and the date that the person was last in court. If I believe that they would qualify, I would file a motion with the court which would contain both the code section of the 402 and the reasons why the court should grant the request. It would also include a little bit of explanation about the client, as far as what they are doing now, and why it’s important that they have this reduction. The motion would be submitted to the court and a copy would be given to the prosecution. The prosecution would have the chance to weigh in, and they could file a written objection. If the court wanted to set a hearing and have the attorney appear in court, then the prosecution would object at the time of the hearing.

The majority of the process is just the filing of a motion, and waiting to see if there is an objection. If there is no objection, I would ask that the order be submitted to the court for the court’s review, and I would wait for the judge to sign it. If there is an objection by the prosecution (which sometimes happens), I would schedule a hearing, we would go before the court, and I would explain why the court should grant the reduction. We would hear from any parties who are interested, like the prosecution or a potential victim of the crime. Then we’d let the judge make the ruling in open court.

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