September 28, 2023
Do you want your criminal record to follow you around for the rest of your life? Be accessed by the public? Ruin your chances of a normal professional and personal life?
If your answer to these questions is no, then you should contact an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney to find out if your criminal record is eligible to be sealed or expunged. Not every record qualifies, but it’s worth pursuing so you might finally be able to put the past behind you.
Record Sealing vs. Expungement
Right now, your criminal record can be accessed by anyone who wants to look at it. If you want to change that, you can try to get your record either sealed or expunged.
Expungement gets rid of your criminal record as if it never existed. Sealing your record, on the other hand, doesn’t destroy your record, but it prevents the public and most other agencies – except law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, generally – from having access to your record.
Who Can Have Their Record Sealed?
You have to meet one of the following requirements to be eligible to have your record sealed:
- Your case was dismissed;
- You received an acquittal;
- You completed a specific diversion program;
- You were arrested but not charged with an offense and the statute of limitations has run out; or
- You were arrested but not charged with an offense and the statute of limitations has not run out but you are no longer being investigated.
You cannot have your record sealed if:
- The records involve a Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor traffic offense;
- The records involve a Class A or B traffic infraction;
- The records involve a deferred judgment and sentence for an offense for which the factual basis involved unlawful sexual behavior;
- The records involve a deferred judgment and sentence for an offense concerning DUI or DWAI; or
- The records involve a deferred judgment and sentence for an offense concerning the holder of a commercial driver’s license or the operator of a commercial motor vehicle.
Who Can Have Their Record Expunged?
If you have a juvenile criminal record, you can most likely have it expunged immediately if:
- You were acquitted;
- Your case was dismissed; or
- You completed a juvenile diversion program, deferred adjudication, or an informal adjustment.
You can also petition for juvenile record expungement:
- One year after you complete your probation;
- Three years after your unconditional release from parole or your commitment to the Department of Human Services;
- Five years after your sentence, parole, or probation if you have been adjudicated as a repeat or mandatory juvenile offender and haven’t committed any other crimes; or
- At any time if you were convicted of certain prostitution and related offenses.
You cannot have your record expunged if:
- Your offense involved unlawful sexual behavior;
- You were classified as an aggravated juvenile offender;
- You were classified as a violent juvenile offender; or
- You received an adult sentence.
Don’t let your criminal record keep you from living the life you want to lead. We all make mistakes, but now is the time to finally put those mistakes behind you. Reach out to a Colorado criminal lawyer to determine if your criminal record is eligible to be sealed or expunged and get the process started today.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.