The pardon process in Utah differs significantly from the federal pardon process. In the federal system, a pardon must be granted by the President. Some will mistakenly assume that a pardon in state system must be granted by the Governor. The Utah State Constitution, however, creates a Board of Pardons and Parole and gives the Board authority to issue pardons.
Under Utah law established by the state legislature, a pardon has essentially the same effect as an expungement. Individuals who qualify for an expungement are required to pursue expungement through the court system. But a person who does not qualify for or has been denied an expungement through the courts may petition the Board of Pardons and Parole for a pardon of prior criminal convictions.