Many people attempt to seal their own criminal records. But, there are reasons why we get calls from people in Jefferson, Douglas and Arapahoe County who want us to take over the job of record sealing they started. This is because of poor instructions on sealing records, dead ends when trying to get answers to questions, and frustration due to the precise nature of the legal process. Many people become overwhelmed and contact us to give them the peace of mind they need. Sealing your criminal record is important to you, and we take your future and rights seriously here at the O’Malley Law Office.
The number one reason a do it yourselfer calls us is due to the available instructions on Petitions to Seal. These are not intentionally written to be difficult, but are written by people who work within the legal system. Like most specialties, the legal profession has a language that is foreign to most people, and it isn’t because lawyers are smarter than everyone else. I take my car to a mechanic for the same reasoning. My mechanic practices what she does every day and I benefit by letting her do what she does best.
To make matters worse, if you call a clerk of the court to get advice, you will quickly learn they are prohibited from answering your questions. Again, this is not the clerk’s fault. He is prohibited from practicing law and must adhere to a strict policy of not answering legal questions to avoid the liability of giving out bad advice.
I put the next reason under the category of frustration. Record sealing in Adams, or Denver County requires being very exact, and once a petition is filed it may take several weeks or even months before a court will review a petition and get back with you. If you make a mistake, your petition may be denied and will need to start over.
Also under the category of frustration I should add, is that available forms are not always up to date. The laws pertaining to the information required on the sealing forms changes faster than the forms themselves. If the law changes and form doesn’t, you will still be held to what the law requires.
Even if you follow each step correctly and are given a hearing date for your petition to seal, our clients benefit from the comfort of having an experienced lawyer stand with them in court. We are seeing more cases where prosecutors object to records being sealed, and our experienced attorneys are always prepared for that possibility. Don’t stand before a judge for your one chance to seal your record, and not be equipped to fight an experienced District Attorney.
We recommend that you call us before you attempt to seal your criminal record (read our recent blog post about new record sealing for petty and municipal convictions). Allow us to review your case and avoid the potential disappointment of learning your case cannot be sealed. If your case is sealable, we will make sure it is done correctly and without frustration. Our attorneys are experts in sealing criminal records, so call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.