Criminal Record Sealing
Under Colorado law, most adult criminal records and history are open and accessible to the public for inspection at anytime, by simply requesting the information from the court that retains the record. Additionally, online database retrieval, due to the enormous power of the internet, has enabled almost anyone to access any person's criminal history record at the touch-of-a-button.
As a direct result of criminal records held open in the public domain, many people who have had interactions with the criminal justice system, but yet were never convicted of a crime, have experienced serious educational, employment, and social consequences because of their open criminal records.
Although not all criminal records are eligible for a record seal, many criminal records, which remain open to public view are eligible and may be sealed under Colorado law.
Sealing a criminal record in Colorado is a complex, time-consuming process that requires the expertise and experience of a detail-oriented criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of Monte J. Robbins, Esq., with offices located in Denver, and Greeley, Colorado, represents clients in various Colorado District Courts in civil actions related to filing petitions to seal arrest and criminal records.
A person may be eligible for a record seal if she/he was arrested for a crime, but not charged; was charged, but the case was later dismissed; or, the person was acquitted of all charges at trial. Unfortunately, most convictions for criminal offenses, and certain traffic offenses and infractions, may not be sealed, pursuant to Colorado Statute.
However, as of May 24, 2013 you can now seal Municipal Court Offense Convictions and Petty Offense Convictions, subject to eligibility. Certain drug offense convictions, including some felony, misdemeanor, and petty offense drug convictions, may now be sealed under new legislation subject to eligibility.
If you are eligible for a record seal, you may seal any and all records related to the incident, which include: any police contact record; any arrest record; any indictment, information or summons and complaint; any court case associated with the incident; and any other record held by a criminal justice agency related to the incident.
Accordingly, as soon as the court orders the criminal record(s) sealed, the person, whose criminal record was sealed, and the criminal justice agencies and courts involved, may lawfully represent that no such matter exists.
Although the records are not physically destroyed or altered, they may only be unsealed by further court order.
Recent legislation in May 2013 now permits a petitioner to petition the court to seal her records once every twelve (12) months. Thus if you were denied before, you may be able to file it again.
Additionally, if the case at issue was dismissed outright and not the result of a completion of a deferred disposition or a multi-case disposition, the court is now required to order the record sealed if the petition is sufficient on its face. Thus the granting of the order is quasi-automatic. Accordingly, one can infer that the legislature intends that the balancing date does not apply to these types of records wherein the case was dismissed outright. In other words, the petitioner should not be required to show that her interest in sealing the records outweighs the public’s interest in retaining the records.
If you or a loved one is considering a record seal anywhere in Colorado, or you have questions regarding the process or eligibility requirements, call us immediately at 303-355-5148