Unfortunately, events out of our control and personal mistakes can sometimes lead to a criminal record. That is why it’s highly recommended you petition to have your records sealed. If you were never charged, had your case dismissed or if the statute of limitations has run out, you may be eligible to have your records sealed.
Sealing your criminal record will keep future employers or licensing agencies from seeing your charges or arrest. Only certain governmental agencies and law enforcement will be able to pull up your record. If you or someone you know may qualify to have your records sealed, it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Record Sealing Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
The past should stay in the past. You can keep your prior criminal allegations out of the spotlight by petitioning to have your record sealed with a skilled attorney. Your attorney can assess the situation, write up the petition and negotiate for your sealed record in court.
Contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC now to learn more about sealing your record. We have years of experience both sealing and expunging criminal records for clients. Call us now at (719) 328-1616 to set up a free consultation. Our defense lawyers practice throughout El Paso County including Fountain, Peyton, Black Forest Monument and Calhan.
Overview of Sealing Your Record in Colorado
- What Happens If You Seal Your Record in Colorado?
- What’s the Difference Between Expunging and Sealing Your Record?
- Am I Eligible to Seal My Records in Colorado?
- Process to Seal My Record?
- Additional Resources
What Happens If You Seal Your Record in Colorado?
If you’re arrested, charged or convicted of a crime it’s all recorded on your criminal record. Employers and licensing agencies can then access your record by ordering a background check. It’s common for people to have been turned away from jobs, housing, scholarships and universities because of a prior arrest or charge on their record.
Sealing your record will prevent the general public from accessing it. Both prospective employers and licensing agencies will be unable to see your arrest or charges. You will even be allowed to deny the charges altogether in an interview or if you’re seeking housing. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to have your record sealed right away.
What’s the Difference Between Expunging and Sealing Your Record?
You often hear the terms “expunging” and “sealing” your criminal record used interchangeably. While both are similar processes, they don’t have the same end result.
Record sealing and expungement are not the same thing and are covered by different laws or statutes in Colorado. Record sealing in Colorado refers to just that, the sealing of the record so that only certain criminal justice agencies can see that it existed. “Sealing” was a parlance of earlier times where a wax seal was placed across the file so that it could not be opened and /or it would be known immediately if the seal was broken. Expungement, on the other hand, literally means to remove by erasing or crossing out. In Colorado, it means that for all intents and purposes, the record is destroyed.
You can only expunge your criminal record for juvenile crimes. Once a record has been expunged, no one will be able to access it or even say they existed. On the other hand, adults can only seal their records. If a record is sealed, the public may not be able to see the record and the person may tell employers that the record does not exist but law enforcement will still be able to view the record.
Am I Eligible to Seal My Records in Colorado?
Colorado doesn’t offer record seals for everyone. Only offenders who qualify are able to have their case sealed. People who have had their case dismissed or were acquitted at trial are able to have their records sealed. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you may still be able to have your record sealed if it was a misdemeanor drug offense or petty offense.
Listed below are the types of cases Colorado allows you to seal.
- Dismissed cases;
- An arrest that didn’t result in charges;
- Charges that ended in an acquittal;
- Petty offenses;
- Municipal violations;
- Certain drug convictions;
- Certain drug-related misdemeanors;
- Some drug felonies; and
- After successful completion of deferred judgement
Process for Sealing your Records
To have your records sealed you will need to make a petition to the court. It is best that you hire an experienced defense attorney to help you with that process as it can be more complicated than it sounds.
If a judge believes you fit the criteria for a record seal, then you will be required to pay the associated fees. You will then be required to send a copy of your record seal to all agencies that may have your records on file such as the police department and the District Attorney.
Much like credit reporting agencies, there are a multitude of companies that provide criminal records in the form of background checks. These agencies consist of private companies (for profit businesses) and governmental agencies like the DMV, police, courts, district attorney, etc.. It is important to ensure that each organization is notified and listed as a party to the petition and the order to seal. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC maintains a list of numerous organizations to ensure that the client is protected to the fullest extent possible and will also work to ensure that your records remain sealed.
Further, because of the overabundance of internet and background research companies, it is essential that the petitioner be on guard for any violations of the sealing order. Please immediately notify an experienced attorney to make sure any court order to seal the record(s) is enforced to the full effect of the law.
Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records – Visit the official website of the Colorado General Assembly to access a guide for how to seal or expunge your criminal record. Access the document to learn the eligibility requirements, exceptions and how to expediate the sealing or expunging process.
Sealing Record Categories – Visit the official website of the Colorado Judicial Branch to learn more about the different categories for record sealing. See the requirements and process for sealing drug convictions, criminal records without a conviction and charges for juveniles.
Lawyer for Sealing or Expunging Records in El Paso County, CO
If you or someone you know is wishing to seal their criminal record, it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can analyze the circumstances of your prior arrest or charges to see if you qualify. Find that attorney today by contacting Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC excel at criminal defense and can help you move on from your past. Our team can utilize our knowledge and resources to seal your criminal history. Call us now at (719) 328-1616 to set up a consultation. We accept clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Peyton, Fountain and Black Forest.