If you or someone you care about has made a mistake in the past that resulted in a criminal record, that record can follow you for a long time, perhaps causing you problems in applying for jobs, in renting an apartment or in other situations. There are circumstances in which you may have the right to ask the court system to have your criminal record sealed in Colorado. That means that the general public cannot access those records. Sometimes the term “expungement” is used in referring to criminal records, as well. While sealing your record prevents public examination of the documents, expunging a record involves actually destroying it. Colorado law addresses both sealing and expungement, but the processes involved can be complex, calling for the informed advice of a qualified Colorado criminal law attorney.
The experienced attorneys at Ellmann & Ellmann know that past mistakes can continue to cause difficulty long after charges have been dismissed or you have acquitted at trial. Your emotional and financial well-being – and that of your loved ones – can be adversely affected by the lingering effects of a criminal record. But we can help. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers are knowledgeable about Colorado’s procedures for having criminal records sealed. We can work with you to help ensure that routine checks by potential employers, landlords, or others don’t limit your present activities and prospects anymore.
Colorado’s court system defines sealed criminal records as those “involving a criminal incident that can be represented not to exist.” In effect, what that means is that you must meet certain eligibility criteria in order for the court to consider sealing your records. That can happen when:
- There were no charges filed against you
- Your case was dismissed
- You went to trial and were acquitted of all the charges against you
To have your criminal record sealed in Colorado, the state requires you to petition the district court. This must be done in the district that actually has your criminal records. If you have multiple cases you want to have sealed, separate petitions must be filed for each. You will also be required to pay a fee for each of the petitions. Your Colorado criminal defense attorney from Ellmann & Ellmann can advise you if you meet the eligibility requirements to have specific incidents sealed. Further, our lawyers will file the petition(s) and represent you through the necessary court proceedings. You can be assured that the process will be fully explained to you and handled expediently.
The Colorado criminal defense lawyers at Ellmann & Ellmann offer you a free consultation to discuss your desire to seal your criminal records. We will explore your situation and help you understand the circumstances under which you may petition the court. Our criminal records attorneys offer the experience and legal know-how you need to cut through red tape and accomplish your goal of limiting access to information about past mistakes. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation: (303) 814-2600. For your convenience, you may also contact Ellmann & Ellmann online.
Which Records Can Be Sealed?
In Colorado, you may request the court system seal the following types of records:
- Contact made by the police department.
- Your arrest.
- “An indictment, information, or summons and complaint and any court case associated with it.”
- Other records pertaining to the incident that are on file with a criminal justice agency.
Source: Colorado State Judicial Branch