Russell Hebets June 21, 2012

Sealing Your Record

Sealing your record is one of the most important concerns most people have when talking to a criminal defense attorney. A criminal record that has not been sealed can be viewed in employment background checks and by future landlords and can seriously restrict a person’s options. This article should answer all of your questions about sealing your record.

What types of cases can be sealed?

In the state of Colorado not everyone can have their criminal record sealed. There are a few types of cases that are eligible for sealing. First, if your charge was dismissed all record of that charge is eligible to be sealed. Second, if you were found not guilty at trial your criminal record can be sealed. Third, if you successfully completed a deferred judgment your record can be sealed. Fourth, certain types of juvenile offenses are eligible to be sealed or expunged.

However, if you pled guilty or were found guilty at trial there is no procedure for sealing your record in Colorado. If you have not yet made a final plea this could be an important consideration in your decision.

What can keep my case from being sealed?

There are several factors which can disqualify you from being eligible to have your records sealed. If you plead guilty or were found guilty of any charge arising out a criminal summons or filing you are ineligible to have your record sealed. This is true even if you successfully completed a deferred judgment to some charges, if you were found not guilty of some charges at trial, or if the prosecutor dismissed some but not all criminal charges.

Additionally, if you were charged with a traffic infraction as part of any case you are ineligible to have your records sealed. Colorado does not allow defendants to seal traffic infractions and this unfortunately means that any other charges which were part of the same filing are also ineligible to be sealed.

How does sealing your record work?

In Colorado to seal a criminal record you must make a petition to the district court that oversees the court your case was originally. A petition to seal a criminal record in Colorado contains four separate filings that must be made with the court. In addition, you need to also make sure to notify the proper criminal background checking agencies once the case is sealed so that they will remove the information. After you have filed a petition to seal your criminal record other parties will have a chance to object. When objections are made there will be a hearing before a district judge. This hearing follows normal court procedure and you must be able to prove that sealing your criminal record will do more good than harm.

How can an attorney help seal my record?

Hebets & McCallin can help seal your record by consulting with you about your record and filing and handling the entire petition. We can offer a free consultation to determine whether or not your record can be sealed, and file and defend your petition properly with the necessary court.