Many good people commit a criminal offense due to their youth, a highly provoking act, or out of financial desperation. Yet, with the exception of drug offenses, a conviction for a Colorado misdemeanor or felony crime remains to punish you forever and cannot benefit from record sealing.
What is Criminal Record Sealing?
Sealing involves a Colorado judge issuing an order to have your arrest record, police reports and any court record made unavailable to the public. Criminal Record Sealing in Denver, Arapahoe and Jefferson County is governed by C.R.S. 24-72-308.
Four Ways a Record Can be Sealed
The first involves where police or a deputy arrests you by probable cause or warrant, and sends your picture and fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). CBI then forwards them to the FBI, who stores them in the National Crime Information Center or NCIC. If you are never charged with a crime, Colorado law allows you to seal this arrest record.
The next situation involves where you are charged by summons, complaint or information, but are never convicted in Larimer County, Grand County or Weld County. This situation normally arises after police complete their investigation or after the deputy district attorney decides they can’t prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
The third case for sealing follows a successful completion of a “straight” deferred judgment and sentence. “Straight” means that you only pled guilty to one charge and that one charge was subject to a deferred judgment and sentence which you successfully completed.
Finally, the fourth situation for sealing your record in Adams, Douglas and Broomfield County is where you were acquitted at trial. This involves a jury or judge finding you “not guilty” on all charges. If you are convicted on just one charge, all the charges will remain on your record.
The bottom line is that if you plead guilty to a crime (even to a lesser charge) or are convicted at trial of anything, the entire record from that court case cannot be sealed, no matter how old the conviction is. An exception exists for some drug possession convictions involving controlled substances (Drug Record Sealing, C.R.S. 24-72-308.6).
Never accept a plea bargain until your lawyer explains how it will affect your record sealing. An offer may sound like a good deal to “get it over with,” but the conviction could harm you for the rest of your life. Come meet our attorneys who can advise you of the risks and rewards of any plea offer. Be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.