CAN I GET MY RECORD SEALED?
It is not uncommon for people who were convicted of a crime to live their life in a state of constant fear that someone will find out about their conviction. Fortunately, there may be a way out. Sealing your criminal record can help you move on with your life without the burden of worrying that someone will find out about your conviction.
If you qualify to get your record sealed, you can erase your criminal record so that your potential employers, landlords, and lenders will have no knowledge of your arrest or conviction. The problem is that not everyone in Colorado is eligible to get their criminal record sealed. If you want to erase your criminal record, seek legal guidance from an attorney to discuss your options.
At Hebets & McCallin, our criminal defense attorneys guide clients throughout the record sealing process in Denver, Colorado. We also serve clients in Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties.
How Does Record Sealing Differ from Expungement?
Many people who want to clear their criminal records do not understand the difference between expungement and sealing criminal records. The two processes entail different results for your criminal records. Getting your conviction expunged means that the conviction will be cleared off your record. Sealing records, on the other hand, means that the conviction or another criminal record will not be readily available to the public.
Who Can Request to Have Their Records Sealed?
As mentioned earlier, not everyone can request to have their records sealed in Colorado. Whether or not an individual can get their record sealed depends on many factors, including:
The type of the offense;
The individual’s age;
Whether or not the individual was convicted; and
The date when the individual’s criminal case was closed or dismissed.
Generally, sealing your record is possible in Colorado if any of the following is true:
You were never charged with a crime after your arrest, and the statute of limitations has expired;
You were never charged with a crime after your arrest, and you are not under the investigation for allegedly committing the offense;
The prosecutor has dismissed the case against you;
You have successfully completed a diversion program; or
The judge found you “not guilty” of the criminal charges.
There are certain exceptions to the rule when an individual’s case is dismissed as a result of a plea agreement. You must discuss your unique situation with an experienced criminal defense attorney to stop guessing and finally understand whether or not you can get your record sealed.
Who is Not Eligible Have Their Records Sealed?
People in Colorado are generally not eligible to have their records sealed when they were convicted of committing any of the following offenses:
Level 1 drug felony
Any Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 felony
Class A or Class B traffic infraction
Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense
Driving under the influence (DUI) conviction
Another requirement to get your criminal record sealed in Colorado is to settle all court-ordered debts. Thus, people who have not settled court-ordered debts will not be eligible to seal their records.
Why Should You Seal Your Records?
For most people who have a conviction on their record, punishment does not end after they have served their sentence and paid a court-ordered fine.
A criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life after the arrest or conviction. Furthermore, having a criminal record can affect your housing and employment opportunities. People who want to break free from the constraints of their past must consider sealing their records once and for all.
Requesting to seal your records is necessary even if you were acquitted and/or your criminal case was dismissed or dropped. Sealing your records will prevent the public from viewing and accessing your criminal record, which means you can finally avoid the stigma of an arrest or conviction.
What Does the Process Entail?
The process of getting your criminal record sealed begins with petitioning the court to seal the record. According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, individuals can request to seal their records by filing a petition with the municipal, district, or county court where the criminal record or arrest is filed. The record sealing process also involves obtaining a copy of the criminal history and paying a filing fee. A skilled record sealing attorney can help you complete the appropriate forms, file a petition with the court, and prepare for the court hearing to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Get Skilled Legal Guidance Today
The criminal defense attorneys at Hebets & McCallin can help you understand your options for getting your record sealed. We can assist you with the record sealing process so that you can put the past behind you and move toward a new beginning in your life. We understand Colorado laws surrounding record sealing and can help clients around Denver clear their names. Contact our attorneys today to discuss your eligibility. Our team proudly serves clients in Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties, Colorado.