The Process of Expungement
Interviewer: Will the expungement cost somewhere near another grand, give or take?
Matthew Nebeker: Yeah, the expungement is basically clearing your criminal record and in Utah, for a DUI, you have to wait 10 years to expunge that conviction if it’s in the misdemeanor range and you don’t have a bunch of other convictions. Expungements are getting more and more difficult to get because the law’s changing and they’re trying to crack down on a lot of that stuff by making it more difficult. Expungement is an important process in this whole DUI case because it’s something that really needs to be done when the person qualifies.
However, there are certain DUIs that cannot be expunged, like, for instance, a felony. If you have a felony DUI, you can’t get that expunged. That’s going to stay with you. The expungement of a misdemeanor, for the ones that do qualify, will cost about $1,500 to $2,000.
Interviewer: I hear jury trials start getting more expensive with DUIs and one of the factors that contributes to that is the fact that you’re going to have expert witnesses, right?
Matthew Nebeker: Yes, absolutely.
Interviewer: Now, what are the costs of those?
Matthew Nebeker: If we make the decision that we’re going to go to trial in a case, one of the things we have to look at is the cost of expert witnesses. Around here, you’re looking at about $2,500 just for the fee – just the money to get the expert to show up in the court – but then you also have to pay his expenses. If they have to fly in from somewhere, if they have to travel a long way, you’re going to pay those travel expenses plus his lodging and stuff like that while he’s here, and so you’re looking at between $5,000 and $10,000 for an expert witness based on what kind of expert we need and how long he has to be here for the trial.
Repeat Offender Costs
Interviewer: What about second or third DUIs? I’m sure you’ve already talked about this, but I want to know, do costs significantly increase for those?
Matthew Nebeker: Yeah, what you’re talking about is DUIs that have been enhanced based on prior convictions. We mentioned earlier the fine on the first offense is around $1,400 or $1,500. The fine on a second offense goes up a little bit, but not too much; you’re looking at about $1,900 to $2,000. Then if you have three DUI offenses within the 10-year period, you’re looking at felony level and the court can charge the person up to $5,000 for a felony level DUI conviction, so it incurs substantial costs.