The existence of a criminal record can inhibit your ability to enter college, advance your career, rent an apartment, or get a home loan. But did you know that in many circumstances, records of arrests and convictions can be sealed in Colorado?
When you get your record sealed, only people in the criminal justice system and certain government agencies can learn about that embarrassing event in your past. You can truly put that episode behind you and move forward in your life.
What types of records can be sealed?
In Colorado, record sealing is possible for all types of crimes in these circumstances:
- You were arrested, but the prosecutor declined to charge you.
- You were initially charged, but the prosecutor subsequently dropped the charge.
- You were found not guilty at trial.
In addition, it's possible to seal records involving petty offenses, municipal offenses, most misdemeanor drug charges, and underage driving and drinking convictions where the blood alcohol content was between .02 and .05.
Each case has unique aspects and the judge has discretion when considering a petition to seal a record. For this reason, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case.
What types of records can't be sealed?
Record sealing is not available in all cases. For example, you can't get a DUI/DWAI conviction sealed. Records for most types of felony convictions cannot be sealed. You cannot seal a record for a sex crime conviction. If you are a CDL holder, you can't seal a conviction for a Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense, or a Class A or B traffic infraction. And you can't get a record sealed if you have made a split plea or have waived your sealing right as part of a plea deal with the prosecutor.
In a subsequent blog post, we will look at sealing juvenile records in Colorado - a process referred to as expungement.