Expungement is the process of removing past juvenile court information from your record. Convictions and other information can be sealed for adult records. Given that a conviction can make it harder for you to get a job and find a rental home, an expungement or sealing records could make your life easier if you qualify.
No matter the criminal charges you face, Kevin R. Churchill understands their impact on your life and your future. Our office not only helps protect your rights during a criminal prosecution but can work with you to seal or expunge your record so you can get beyond your past and have a better future. Call us at (303) 832-9000 if you want help expunging your record.
Situations Where Records Can Be Expunged or Sealed
Expungement means your juvenile record officially never existed and the public won’t be able to see it. You may legally deny you were ever arrested, charged, adjudicated, convicted, or sentenced for the expunged matter.
If there’s a court order to seal records, you and criminal justice agencies may reply when asked that public conviction records don’t exist. An order sealing conviction records doesn’t prevent access by courts, law enforcement agencies, or anyone required by law to do a criminal history record check on you.
Expungement and sealing records in Colorado is a hit-or-miss proposition. Your situation may or may not fall into categories where you qualify. Here are some of the circumstances where this may be an option:
- Criminal Conviction Records: With many exceptions and conditions, and in different time frames, the following records may be sealed: misdemeanors (class one, two, and three as well as those involving drugs), felonies (class four, five, and six; level two, three, and four drug felonies), and offenses by human trafficking victims. For all other convictions, a petition can be filed five or more years after the final disposition or proceedings or release from supervision, whichever is later.
- Sealing Criminal Records Other than Convictions: With exceptions, you may qualify if you were acquitted of all counts, your case was completely dismissed, you finished a diversion agreement, or you completed a deferred judgment and sentence with all counts dismissed. You don’t qualify if you haven’t paid the ordered restitution, fines, court costs, and fees.
- Juvenile Court: You may ask a judge to expunge a closed case within 42 days after you are found not guilty after a trial, the charges were dismissed before a decision on your case was made, or you completed your sentence or an alternative to sentencing, you were younger than 18 when you committed the offense, and you don’t have a felony, misdemeanor, or delinquency action pending against you. You won’t be eligible if you were adjudicated for a felony involving unlawful sexual behavior, an aggravated juvenile, a violent juvenile offender, homicide and related offenses, or under Colorado’s Uniform Motor Vehicle Law.
- Underage Drinking and Driving: If you ask a judge for an expungement, it should be approved if your blood alcohol content was from 0.02 to 0.05, you’re now older than 21, the court action is concluded, you haven’t been convicted of another intoxicated driving offense while you were younger than 21, you paid applicable fines and fulfilled any other requirements, you never had a commercial driver’s license, and you weren’t operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the alleged crime.
- Underage Alcohol or Marijuana Offense Committed after July 1, 2014: The court should order your records to be sealed if your case is dismissed, you completed a deferred judgment and sentence or diversion, or with a first-time conviction you completed substance abuse education and paid any court-ordered fine. If the court didn’t do this itself, you could file a petition asking that your records be sealed.
- Criminal Conviction of a Municipal Violation: You may ask a District Court to seal conviction records (other than basic identifying information) of a municipal violation by filing a civil action in the county where the record is located. Records won’t be sealed if you haven’t paid restitution, fines, costs, or fees ordered by the court.
Get the Criminal Record Help You Need From an Attorney You Can Trust
Kevin R. Churchill has helped clients expunge and seal their criminal records for more than two decades. He understands this can be a critical part of starting your life over again. Call him today at (303) 832‑9000 to schedule a free consultation.