Criminal and Arrest Records are Easily Created
If you have a criminal record in Colorado, you should always have it sealed as long as your situation qualifies under the Record Sealing Statute, C.R.S. 24-72-308. Any arrest, whether you are convicted of a crime or not, creates a criminal record. Any court case, even if the charges are unfounded and dismissed, creates another public accessible criminal record. I talk to several shocked people a month who find out that Colorado makes unfounded arrests and unproven criminal charges available to the public. Furthermore, when a person is found not guilty in a Colorado court, the record remains accessible to the public. In Jefferson or Douglas County, or anywhere in Colorado, the burden and the expense to convince a court to seal a criminal record are placed upon the innocent party. You may not like it, but it is the law. Read the basics on Record Sealing.
Criminal Records are Never Automatically Sealed
Sometimes we get calls from people who did not realize they have a criminal record. Some simply forgot about the time they were arrested for Disorderly Conduct, C.R.S. 18-9-106, in Arapahoe County. Others perhaps were not told the whole truth from an ambitious Denver prosecutor. I’ve heard people say they were told that if they took a deferred sentence that the record would be automatically sealed after they complete their public service. We spend a lot of time reminding callers that almost nothing happens automatically within the legal system. Criminal record sealing is not an exception. If you are under the assumption that your misdemeanor arrest is no longer visible to the public, we recommend you verify the information. Read about the difference between record sealing and expungement.
When You Can Seal Your Denver Criminal Records
Once verified, you need to know if your record is sealable. In general, if you were arrested and were never convicted, or if charges were filed but were later dismissed, or if you were given a deferred judgment (a temporary guilty plea which is dismissed after completing court conditions), or if you are acquitted (found not guilty by a judge or jury), you are permitted to ask the court to seal the record. There are other situations where a record sealing is proper, so please contact our criminal record sealing lawyers to see if your situation qualifies.
Do it Yourself Means Just That in Criminal Record Sealing
Now it is time to make a big decision, should I do it myself, or should I hire an attorney? The Colorado judicial website makes forms for filing your criminal record petition to seal available online. If you decided to do it yourself, you should be aware that you will not be given help from the clerk of courts. The courts (or private attorneys) do not want to be held liable if someone blames them for bad advice or a typo in the paperwork. Do it yourself really means “do it all yourself”.
Why Hire An Attorney to Seal Your Arrest Record?
Those that wish to avoid the headache, and sometimes heartbreak, of not filing a petition to seal criminal records properly will usually hire an attorney. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side has the added benefit of taking someone with you to court that knows the law if your petition is opposed by anyone. In many cases, district attorneys have filed an objection to the sealing of criminal and arrest records on flimsy grounds. They do this to make it hard for someone to put the matter behind them. I recently had a DA supervisor come to court to object to the sealing, even though he did not have a good legal basis for doing so.
Whether you live in Adams or Larimer County, we can help you understand if your criminal record is sealable. If so, we will make sure your record sealing is done correctly and without frustration. So call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.