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What Type of Cases Can’t Be Sealed in Colorado?

Employers, lenders, insurance companies and many other entities will have access to your criminal record. This can result in lost opportunity all because of a stain on your criminal history. Sealing a criminal record allows an offender to conceal their criminal history from the public. Only certain crimes, however, are eligible to be sealed in Colorado.

Colorado doesn’t allow certain cases to be sealed because the danger of the offense is outweighed by the public’s right to know.  Contacting a criminal defense attorney is your best option to avoid a mark on your criminal record. They can aggressively advocate on your behalf and fight to have the charges reduced or dropped before conviction.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs

Your best course of action is to consult with an attorney if you are planning to have a record sealed. The process is time-consuming and complicated. Not only this, but you have to meet various conditions before you can be eligible.

Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC is well equipped to help you with the sealing process. We will evaluate the facts of your case and help you determine if you are eligible. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with an attorney at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. We assist clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.


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Can a DUI/DWAI be Removed from my Record?

A DUI will haunt you long after fines have been paid and your license suspension has ended. This is because your DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record unless the charges are dismissed, or you are acquitted. If your case was resolved in a different way other than a guilty verdict or guilty plea, you might be able to have the DUI removed from your record.

You can petition the court to have your DUI arrest and charges sealed in the following situations:

  • You were arrested for the offense but never charged
  • You were charged, but charges were dismissed or dropped by prosecutors
  • You were acquitted and at least 10 years have passed since the disposition of your case

Sealing a DUI arrest or charge is not guaranteed. Plus, the process is complicated and time-consuming. Your best course of action is to contact an attorney to evaluate your situation.


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Felony Convictions

Colorado does not allow for felony convictions as an adult to be sealed. However, Colorado law recently changed thanks to House Bill 11-1167, which allows for certain felony drug convictions to be sealed.

Conviction of a class 5 or class 6 drug felony may be sealed from your criminal record, but only under certain conditions. To have the drug felony sealed, you must wait 10 years from the date you are released from jail or completed other criminal proceedings, whichever is later. In addition to waiting, you must not have committed any additional crimes within this time.

The only time a felony, other than a drug felony, can be sealed from your record is if the charges were dropped, dismissed or you were never charged.


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Can Misdemeanor Traffic Violations be Expunged?

Common misdemeanor traffic violations can range from driving without a valid driver’s license to careless driving. These violations differ from traffic infractions in they are considered criminal violations rather than civil. Either way, Colorado does not allow for certain violations in each category to be sealed.

Listed below are examples of violations and infractions that cannot be sealed in Colorado:

  • Class 1 misdemeanors:
    • Knowingly engaging in speed contests
    • Careless driving
    • Speeding 25 mph or more in maintenance, construction or repair zone
  • Class 2 misdemeanors
    • Driving without a valid license
    • Failing to surrender a license after conviction of driving under restraint
    • Speeding 25 mph or more in maintenance, construction or repair zone
  • Class A traffic infraction:
    • Failing to pay tolls
    • Falling to yield right-of-way while making a left turn
    • Driving through a safety zone
  • Class B traffic infraction:
    • Driving with an expired license
    • Permitting an unauthorized minor to drive
    • Driving without a seat belt

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Split Pleas and Waivers

You will lose your chance to have a conviction sealed if you accepted a split plea or if prosecutors submit a waiver. A split plea may be offered in cases when an alleged offender has been charged with two crimes. This type of plea typically involves a deferred judgment for the more serious charge (normally a felony) and a straight plea to the other lesser charge.

Split pleas are a double edge sword. You will not have a felony conviction on your criminal record, but at the same time, you lose your right to seal the other charge. You will also lose your right to seal your record if prosecutors ask the court to waive your right to do so as part of a plea bargain.

Always consult with your attorney before accepting a plea deal. The bargain may sound appealing but accepting it may result in losing your right to appeal, your right to a trial by jury and the right to seal your record.


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Additional Resources

House Bill 11-1167 – Read through the bill that is now law allowing for certain drug felonies to be sealed. You can also learn about conditions that must be met before the conviction can be sealed and convictions eligible for expungement.

Felony Expungement | Help for Felons – Being convicted of a felony is a label that will follow you for the rest of your life. Help for Felons.org provides information on felony expungement. You can learn about the sealing process, view felonies eligible for expungement by state and factors that can increase your chances of having the conviction sealed.


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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs

Contact an attorney at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC if you have any questions regarding possibly sealing a criminal conviction. If eligible, we will guide you through the complicated process and do everything in our power to have the conviction sealed. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a free consultation.

Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC represents clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Littleton, and Denver.


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Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.