December 9, 2023
It’s unlikely that anyone needs to tell a person that driving under the influence is a big mistake in Colorado. The Centennial State has some of the stiffest DUI penalties in the nation. Even if you manage to avoid conviction for a DUI, there’s still the matter of a criminal record.
The law in Colorado allows you to expunge certain crimes and arrests from your criminal record. Is a DUI one of those crimes? In some circumstances, it is, but the answer is quite complicated.
Read on to learn more about getting your DUI expunged in the state.
Understanding Your Colorado Criminal Record
A criminal record gets created the moment you get arrested for a crime. It will follow you around for the rest of your life, regardless of whether or not you get convicted – or even charged.
What does that mean?
Every time you fill out a job application, credit application, loan application, or even a housing application, a background check will reveal your criminal record. This can have a huge impact on your future.
Expungement in Colorado
Expungement is a process under which your records get hidden from public view. For adults, it’s a process called criminal record sealing.
A sealed or expunged record will not come up on background checks. Additionally, when you fill out applications, you no longer have to answer yes if your record has been expunged.
Can a Colorado DUI Be Expunged?
- The arrest occurred at least 10 years ago
- There were not any charges filed against you after your DUI arrest
- Any DUI charges filed against you got dismissed
- You got acquitted of the DUI charges in court
The hardest thing for many people to understand is that there is a time period in which you must wait to have your record expunged. If you don’t meet that, then there’s no hope for expungement to be successful in your case.
In Colorado, It’s Best to Avoid Conviction
Remember, only a case in which you avoid conviction will be eligible for expungement. Because of this, that should be your first focus in the fight for your future.
How can you avoid a conviction? The best route is to seek the help of an experienced attorney. Make sure to take advantage of your right to remain silent. Don’t answer any questions from the police about the case against you until you have an attorney present.
Living with a DUI record is challenging, and many opportunities may pass you by because of it. Expunging your criminal record is not easy in Colorado, but it can be done. Stick with an attorney who understands the process and can help you both avoid conviction and to expunge your record when eligible.
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 recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.