We Can Help You Expunge a Criminal Record
Criminal records might be the single greatest impediment to employment opportunities, admission to schools, and scholarship prospects. We live in a fiercely competitive world, where there are more people seeking work than there are jobs, more people applying to schools than there are spots in the next class. Decision-makers have to sift through dozens, hundreds, even thousands of applicants as efficiently as possible. The fastest and easiest way to exclude candidates is based on whether and to what extent they have a criminal history.
Being charged with a crime is difficult for anyone to bear. You have to decide whether to go to trial or whether to enter into a plea agreement with the prosecution. If you go to trial and are convicted, or if you accept a plea bargain, some kind of sentence or conditions will be imposed on you by the court. You may be required to take remedial classes, to abstain from alcohol use, to perform community service, or any number of other things.
How to Seal Your Criminal Record
By the time you complete your sentence or the conditions of your plea agreement, it is likely that much time will have passed since you were first charged by the police. You may be mentally or physically exhausted, and the whole ordeal probably cost you much of your hard-earned money for fines and fees. Understandably, you want your criminal case to be over and behind you.
Is Your Criminal Record Accessible To Employers?
What you may not realize is that the end of the sentence is not the end of the case as far as its impacts on your ability to get a job or get into school. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation maintains a database called the Colorado Criminal History (CCH) system. It is very inexpensive and easy for employers to run criminal background checks through the CCH website. If the search for your name returns a record, it is likely the employer will simply throw your application in the trash without taking the time to find out what ultimately happened in your criminal case.
You may be wondering, “How can I end up in the CCH database?” Not all criminal cases generate a CCH record—only arrests in which the arrested party is fingerprinted (one step in the jail process known as “booking”). So, cases in which the police only issue a citation or rare cases in which police make an arrest but ultimately release the suspect without booking them would not be in the CCH system. However, all felony arrests and most misdemeanor arrests (including driving under the influence, domestic violence, etc.) will result in CCH records.
You may also wonder, “Is CCH the only place where an employer could learn about my arrest?” The answer to that question is both yes and no. Technically, any entity that touches your case (law enforcement agency, court, etc.) will make a record of your contact with the entity. Police and court files are, by and large, available to the public. Today, many of these entities make their records searchable online. So, it is theoretically possible for an employer to conduct a search of, for example, the Denver Police Department’s records and discover that you were issued a citation, whereas a CCH search of your name would not have shown the citation. Practically speaking, though, to make records requests of multiple separate entities would be too time-consuming. Thus, the CCH database is the primary place employers look for criminal histories.