Can your criminal record be sealed in Colorado?
A criminal record can be devastating for you when you try to find a new job, get a loan, apply for a mortgage, or attempt to get a professional license as the stigma of being a “criminal” will haunt you many years.
Your record does not get automatically sealed even if the case is dismissed or you are found not-guilty at trial. If you have ever been arrested and merely charged but not found guilty or the case was dismissed you may have a record and the stigma associated with it.
In today’s internet driven age the unfortunate reality is that private, third-party companies work hard at ensuring that public criminal records can be stored and accessed. This means that your greatest likelihood of ensuring that your records are private comes from acting as soon as possible to seal them so that private, third-party companies don’t get the chance to save the public information.
Only certain types of records can be sealed in Colorado:
- Your case was dismissed without going to trial
- You were acquitted and found not-guilty after a trial
- You completed a diversion agreement
- You were arrested, but not charged in court, and it has been long enough that the statute of limitations has passed
- You were arrested, but not charged in court, the statute of limitations has not passed, but you are no longer being investigated for the offense
However, even if you meet one of the requirements above, you cannot have your records sealed if:
- Your case was dismissed as part of a global plea agreement in a separate case (unless 10 or more years have passed since the final disposition and you have no additional charges)
- You still owe restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, or other fees ordered by the court in the case you are asking to seal
Criminal records that cannot be sealed:
- Your case was a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense
- Your case was a class A or B traffic infraction
- (If you are charged with a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor or class A or B traffic infraction, this will not prevent you from sealing your records if there are other qualifying charges included)
- Your case involved a deferred judgment for charges for which the underlying facts involved unlawful sexual behavior
- Your case involved a deferred judgment for charges of Driving under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), or DUI per-se
- Your case involved a deferred judgment for charges concerning holding a commercial driver’s license, or operating a commercial motor vehicle
What forms you need:
- Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records
- Order to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records
- Order and Notice of Hearing (Sealing or Records)
- Order Denying Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Record
- Certificate of Service
When and why do you need an attorney?
Aside from preparing and filing out the forms correctly, a judge may order a hearing and decide whether or not to seal your records based on the outcome of what you say in court. An attorney will know exactly what information to include, which arguments are the best ones for you, and will fill out the forms and contact the respective law enforcement agencies on your behalf.
There are many steps involved in the sealing records process that includes obtaining the appropriate arrest and criminal records information, filling out the appropriate forms and filing them with the court, and a potential appearance at a hearing to argue that the public’s interest in maintaining free access to your records which enhances credibility in the judiciary is outweighed by your private interests in employment, family stability, and future costs associated with the “stigma” of having a criminal record.
After a decision is made by the judge, you still need to contact each and every single law enforcement agency which may have saved records listed in the order to ensure that they have notice to seal the records and not provide access to the public.
WHY LUND GARIBYAN LAW?
The best attorney is the attorney who spends time talking to you about your case, knows what is going on, and is willing to devote as much time as is needed to handle your case correctly. We bring big firm experience, significant criminal law experience, and jury trial readiness to you. Schedule a free consultation now by contacting us at (720) 213-3774 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.