The past can sometimes come back to haunt us. If you have a prior arrest, charges or a conviction it could jeopardize your personal and professional goals. Employers, licensing agencies and universities can access your criminal record by ordering a background check. Not only this, but landlords and housing units also look at your criminal history of their tenants.
There’s a way to resolve this and move on from your past. You can petition to seal your records from the general public. Colorado allows people who meet the requirements to seal their criminal records from everyone but specific entities such as law enforcement. If you’re able to have a judge seal your record, you can then legally deny the existence of your criminal history.
Attorney Explains Why You Should Seal Your Records in Colorado
Have prior criminal charges caused strife in your professional and personal goals? Fortunately, there’s a way for you move on from your criminal history. You can hire an attorney to write a petition for a record seal. Sealing your record will stop the general public such as employers from accessing it with a background check.
Contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. to see if you qualify for a record seal. Our team can write the petition for you and assist you through this legal process. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule an appointment with a skilled attorney today. We accept clients throughout the greater El Paso County area including Colorado Springs, Fountain, Peyton and Black Forest.
Overview of Why You Should Seal Your Record
What Happens If You Seal Your Record in Colorado?
If you’ve been arrested, criminally charged, or convicted of a crime it goes on your criminal record. This record is available to the general public through background checks or public record searches, meaning employers and licensing agencies can access your criminal history. Thankfully, Colorado offers people a chance to eliminate their criminal history through a petition of a record seal.
Sealing your record will make your criminal history invisible to the general public. Landlords, employers, and licensing agencies will no longer be able to access your criminal record. You can even deny the existence of your arrest or charges in an interview. Sealing your record can significantly help you with your professional and personal life.
How To File a Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records
The first step to sealing your criminal records is to obtain the appropriate arrest and criminal records. You will need to obtain the proper case report numbers, case numbers and arrest numbers from your original arrest or criminal record. You may be required to pay a fee to obtain this information. You can find this information at the following locations:
- Court records from your local county clerk;
- Municipal court records;
- Arrest or police records from the agency that arrested you; and
- Your criminal history by using the Colorado Investigative Bureau’s online system
Once you’ve received the correct information, you will need to complete the associated forms. The form you need will depend on if you’re sealing an arrest, charge or criminal conviction. For example, if you must complete a JDF 477 if you’re simply sealing an arrest. But if you’re trying to seal a conviction for a petty offense, you’ll be required to fill out JDF 612 instead.
Listed below are the forms needed to seal your criminal record.
- Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records – JDF 417
- Sealing petty offenses, municipal violation and drug crimes – JDF 612
- Underage possession or consumption of alcohol before July 1, 2014 – JDF 313(a)
- Underage possession or consumption of alcohol after July 1, 2014 – JDF 313(b)
- Underage DUI convictions – JDF 305
- Juvenile criminal records – JDF 302
To seal your record, you must file it with the appropriate court and provide copies of your petition to all agencies associated with your charges or arrest. You’ll be required to pay a fee of $224 to file the petition for your case. For certain records such as drug convictions, you may be obligated to pay multiple fees.
Once you’ve successfully filed the petition, the court will then review it. Sometimes the court will ask you to attend a hearing to further discuss the matter. However, you may have your petition granted without a hearing at all. If the court requests a hearing, it will be scheduled within six weeks of you filing your petition.
You must prepare for the hearing if the court requests it. It’s highly recommended you seek legal representation, so they can present evidence as to why sealing your record is in the best interest of justice. If your petition is denied, you can then file a JDF 435 Order Denying Petition for Seal Arrest and Criminal Record.
Instructions on How to Seal Arrest Records – Visit the official website of the Colorado Judicial Department to access a guide on how to file a petition for a record seal. Access the document to learn the requirements, waiting periods, and links to the appropriate forms.
Prison Policy Initiative – Visit the official website for the Prison Policy initiative, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to helping the 2.3 people who are incarcerated in the United States. The Prison Policy initiative plans to attack the problem of mass incarceration through research and public funding.
Record Sealing Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
If you or someone you know is interested in sealing their criminal past, then it’s imperative you gain legal representation. The process for petition for a record seal can be confusing and a slip-up could jeopardize it altogether. That is why it’s recommended you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. excel at criminal defense including sealing and expunging criminal records. Our team will guide you with quality legal service. Call (719) 328-1616 now to set up a consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater El Paso County including Colorado Springs, Fountain and Peyton.