September 19, 2023
Facing a criminal charge can be a stressful experience. Chances are, you’re living in the moment, and your are concerned about how it’s affecting your life in the here and now – not how it can impact your life in the future.
The truth of the matter is that, in Colorado and all across the United States, a criminal record can have huge consequences for your life. Even if you are successful in having criminal charges against you dropped, a criminal record can still follow you around – unless you take the extra step to seal that criminal record from public view.
Here is what you need to know about all the ways that not sealing your criminal record in Colorado can be detrimental to your future.
Finding a Job
One of the biggest hurdles a person with any kind of criminal record can face is the job search. Even if you were never convicted, a charge on a criminal record under your name can make a dent when you’re on the hunt for a job.
Many employers will do a background check, which will show them that you have a criminal record. On top of that, employers are legally able to ask you if you’ve had any convictions or criminal charges filed – and you must be honest. If you were to have your record sealed, you don’t have to disclose arrests that didn’t result in a conviction.
Custody of Children or Adopting Children
Those with a criminal record will face challenges in family court, too. You can lose custody rights to a child if you have a criminal record, particularly if it includes acts of domestic violence or child abuse.
Additionally, having an arrest on your criminal record can hamper your ability to adopt a child even years down the road.
Those with criminal records can lose their right to operate a vehicle, but that depends on the severity of the criminal history. If you have a history of DUIs or other infractions while driving, then it puts your license in danger.
Owning a Firearm
Many people take the right to bear arms seriously, but a criminal record can make it difficult for you to obtain a firearm. In some circumstances, it may be impossible for you to get the license which allows you to legally own and carry a firearm or even ammunition.
If you aren’t an American citizen yet, then a criminal record can be a major obstacle if you ever want to change your immigration status and become a citizen. You may also risk deportation for crimes – including misdemeanors – if you’re not careful.
Even misdemeanors on a college application can limit your chances of being able to go to a particular college. While the final decision rests in the hands of the university or college you wish to attend, offenses on your criminal record can make it difficult to gain admission and even secure loans.
Finding a Place to Live
Landlords do criminal history background checks and can refuse to rent to you if you have a criminal record. This can make finding suitable housing for your family more difficult than it already may be.
The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t let a criminal history follow you around forever – and in many cases, you don’t have to do that. Work with an attorney today to have your criminal history sealed or expunged.
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.