An encounter with law enforcement, even if it occurred long ago, can continue to impact your life negatively. Prospective employers, landlords, educational institutions, insurance companies, and other entities routinely perform background checks to look for prior arrests or convictions. To avoid any future disappointment of being rejected from a good job or potential home, contact the Bendinelli Law Firm and schedule a free consultation to discuss expungement.
If you’re considering getting your record expunged, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced Denver expungement lawyer. Although you can represent yourself, different statutes are used to expunge different types of criminal records, each with its own set of requirements for filing, service, and evidence. An attorney can guide you and advise you very quickly whether your case qualifies for expungement and, if so, what needs to be done.
Expungement refers to the process of destroying a person’s criminal record, so it no longer exists. When a record has been expunged, it cannot be accessed by anyone. Sealing records, on the other hand, is sometimes used interchangeably, but they have different definitions. Adults can have their records sealed, so they are not visible to the general public, but they still exist. That means they will not appear in background checks conducted by employers or landlords but may still be seen in certain government agencies’ searches. Most people would prefer having their records expunged, but only certain individuals qualify for expungement in Colorado.
The only records that can be expunged under Colorado law are:
However, juvenile records cannot be expunged if the defendant was adjudicated as a violent juvenile offender or an aggravated juvenile offender, convicted of a traffic offense or infraction, convicted of a sex felony offense, or if they were convicted of a homicide or related crime.
Once a record is expunged, you are legally allowed to deny ever having been arrested, charged, adjudicated, convicted, or sentenced in relation to that specific case.
If you were arrested for a crime but were never actually charged or your case was dismissed, then you are eligible for a sealing. You can request that your record be sealed immediately.
When you can file a motion to have your criminal records expunged depends on the crime.
|Colorado Juvenile Offense||Waiting Period|
|The defendant successfully finished probation; or|
The contact with law enforcement did not lead to a referral to another agency
|The defendant got an unconditional release from parole supervision or from a commitment to the Department of Human Services||3 years|
|The person was released from their sentence as a repeat offender or mandatory offender||5 years|
|Underage Drinking and Driving (UDD)||Waiting Period|
|Defendant was convicted of UDD||After turning 21 years of age|
|Mistaken Identity Arrests||Waiting Period|
|A person was wrongly arrested due to mistaken identity and was not charged||Law enforcement agency must petition for expungement no later than 90 days after it is determined to be a mistake|
In all of the above-listed offenses, besides mistaken identity arrests, you must file the petition for expungement of records which can be found here. The completed petition and order forms must be filed with the court which heard the case. Lastly, you must wait for the court’s decision. If it is granted, a copy of the “order to expunge” will be mailed to all state agencies which have a copy of your records. If your petition is denied, you must wait 12 months before trying again.
The process of expunging criminal records can be complicated. If you are interested in restoring your good name, call the Denver criminal defense attorneys at Bendinelli Law Firm for help. Call 1-800-ATTORNEY to schedule a free consultation today. Regardless of whether you have been accused of domestic violence or drug crimes.