A criminal record can haunt you for years after the incident. You may have trouble getting hired, enrolling in college, receiving federal student financial aid, or renting a house. Because of these challenges, you should consider getting your criminal record sealed.
What is a Criminal Record Seal?
When a person is arrested or convicted in Colorado, it goes on their “criminal record.” These records are typically accessible to the public.
Depending on your eligibility, Colorado allows you to seal your prior criminal records. Criminal records that have been sealed are no longer visible to the public and will not appear in background checks.
By getting your criminal record sealed, you can greatly improve your prospects for:
What Kind of Criminal Records Can Be Sealed in Colorado?
There are only certain cases that can be sealed under Colorado law, and each has its own guidelines. Your record may be sealed immediately if you were never convicted of the crime. Your arrest record and criminal charges can be sealed if you were found not guilty. You can also petition for a record seal if:
- No charges were filed against you after you were arrested;
- Your case was dismissed after charges were filed;
- You were never charged and the statute of limitations passed;
- You were acquitted of the crime;
- You completed a diversion program; or
- You finished your deferred judgement and sentence
A majority of misdemeanor drug offenses can be sealed under Colorado’s new drug law, and other misdemeanors can be sealed if they meet any other Colorado Revised Statutes on sealing. Should you have any questions regarding the sealability of a particular record, please contact our experienced attorneys.
How to Get a Criminal Record Sealed in Colorado
The process for sealing a criminal record depends on the type of record. The following six steps are usually involved in getting a Colorado record seal:
1. Obtain Record
The person first obtains a copy of his/her criminal record from law enforcement if it was an arrest only or a copy of the court documents if the case went to court.
2. Obtain Criminal History
After that, a verified copy of the person’s criminal history must be obtained from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI).
3. Fill Out the Appropriate Forms
The third step is to fill out the appropriate petition to seal forms.
4. File the Petition
Upon completing the forms, the person files them with the appropriate court (usually the one where the case occurred), and a filing fee of $65.00.
5. Court Reviews the Petition
It is then up to the court to decide whether to accept or deny the petition. Sometimes, the court will schedule a hearing before deciding whether to issue a seal order.
6. Send Orders to Agencies
If the judge issues an order to seal, the individual then sends copies of the order to all agencies that hold his or her criminal records (such as the police department and the CBI).
Need a Criminal Record Sealed in Colorado? We Can Help.
If you have a criminal record in Colorado, contact our criminal defense attorneys at Kanthaka Group for a free consultation. We may be able to seal or expunge your criminal record which can greatly increase your eligibility for employment, housing, and other opportunities. Put the past behind you, call (719) 633-2222 to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.