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Rule 609. Impeachment by Evidence of aCriminal Conviction


(a)      InGeneral. Thefollowing rules apply to attacking a witness’s character for truthfulness byevidence of a criminal conviction:


(1)   fora crime that, in the convicting jurisdiction, was punishable by death or byimprisonment for more than one year, the evidence:


(A)   mustbe admitted, subject to Rule 403, in a civil case or in a criminal case inwhich the witness is not a defendant; and


(B)   mustbe admitted in a criminal case in which the witness is a defendant, if theprobative value of the evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect to thatdefendant; and


(2)   forany crime regardless of the punishment, the evidence must be admitted if thecourt can readily determine that establishing the elements of the crimerequired proving — or the witness’s admitting — a dishonest act or falsestatement.


(b)      Limiton Using the Evidence After 10 Years. Thissubdivision (b) applies if more than 10 years have passed since the witness’sconviction or release from confinement for it, whichever is later. Evidence ofthe conviction is admissible only if:


itsprobative value, supported by specific facts and circumstances, substantiallyoutweighs its prejudicial effect; and


theproponent gives an adverse party reasonable written notice of the intent to useit so that the party has a fair opportunity to contest its use.


(c)      Effectof a Pardon, Annulment, or Certificate of Rehabilitation. Evidence of a conviction is notadmissible if:


(1)   theconviction has been the subject of a pardon, annulment, certificate ofrehabilitation, or other equivalent procedure based on a finding that theperson has been rehabilitated, and the person has not been convicted of a latercrime punishable by death or by imprisonment for more than one year; or


(2)   theconviction has been the subject of a pardon, annulment, or other equivalentprocedure based on a finding of innocence.


(d)      JuvenileAdjudications.Evidence of a juvenile adjudication is admissible under this rule only if:


(1)   itis offered in a criminal case;


(2)   theadjudication was of a witness other than the defendant;


(3)   anadult’s conviction for that offense would be admissible to attack the adult’scredibility; and


(4)   admittingthe evidence is necessary to fairly determine guilt or innocence.


(e)      Pendencyof an Appeal. Aconviction that satisfies this rule is admissible even if an appeal is pending.Evidence of the pendency is also admissible.



2011Advisory Committee Note. –The language of this rule has been amended as part of the restyling of theEvidence Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style andterminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to bestylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling onevidence admissibility. This rule is the federal rule, verbatim.




This rule isthe federal rule, verbatim, and changes Utah law by granting the courtdiscretion in convictions not involving dishonesty or false statement to refuseto admit the evidence if it would be prejudicial to the defendant. Current Utahlaw mandates the admission of such evidence. State v. Bennett, 30 Utah 2d 343,517 P.2d 1029 (1973); State v. Van Dam, 554 P.2d 1324 (Utah 1976); State v. McCumber, 622 P.2d 353 (Utah 1980).


There ispresently no provision in Utah law similar to Subsection (d).


The pendencyof an appeal does not render a conviction inadmissible. This is in accord withUtah case law. State v. Crawford, 60 Utah 6, 206 P. 717 (1922).


This rule isidentical to Rule 609 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The 1990 amendments tothe federal rule made two changes in the rule. The comment to the federal ruleaccurately reflects the Committee's view of the purpose of the amendments.