A criminal record, including arrests, can follow a person for a lifetime. Arrests and dismissed cases appear on background checks which could cause an individual to miss work and housing-related opportunities. Fortunately, in certain circumstances, you can request the court seal information about any arrests, dismissals, or other criminal offenses.
If you were a juvenile at the time of the offense, you may be eligible for a similar process called expungement. A Greeley expungement and sealing lawyer could help you get your criminal records wiped for good. A skilled defense lawyer at Colorado Lawyer Team could determine your eligibility for getting your record cleaned up and you back on the right track to success!
Common Reasons for Record Sealing
There are different situations in which the court will expunge a defendant’s record per Colorado Revised Statute Title 24.
Mistaken Identity Expungement
If a person has a criminal record related to a mistaken identity problem and charges, the court allows a simple way to have that issue erased from the wrong person’s history, which is noted in C.R.S. §24-72-702. Most cases involving identity theft may involve sealing which fall under this simplified process.
Expungement When No Charges Filed
Any interested person may file to have an arrest record sealed in the following circumstances:
- No charges ultimately filed
- The defendant successfully completed a diversion agreement
- No charges were possible because the statute of limitations has lapsed
The court will examine a petition and determine its eligibility for expungement or sealing. If there are grounds for expungement or sealing, the courts may set a hearing date per C.R.S. §24-72-704.
Sealing Matters without a Conviction
The court will seal a defendant’s records in situations where the prosecutor pressed charges, but there was no conviction, as described in C.R.S. §24-72-705. This may mean that the case was dismissed, the defendant completed a diversion agreement, there was a deferred judgment, or the government dropped the charges. However, even some successfully completed deferred judgments are not able to be sealed, such as DUI’s or certain sex offenses.
Factors Preventing Sealing
A court may order records to be unsealed if the court convicts the defendant of another criminal act, as described in C.R.S. §24-72-703. If a criminal case involves more than one legal issue, the court may only seal an offense if all the convictions resulting from that case are eligible for sealing.
If the court states that a person still owes money ordered by the court, the court will not seal the person’s records. The court may choose to deny the expungement if the government subsequently accuses the person of another offense. The court typically refuses to seal convictions related to sex crimes, crimes against at risk adults including pregnant women, and other serious crimes.
Timeliness May be an Issue in Greely Expungement Motions
A defendant may be able to make a motion for the court to expunge or seal a conviction, but there are waiting periods that will change depending on the nature of the charges. For example, state lawmakers have moves to decriminalize the possession of some types of controlled substance. This is due to the fact that most people do not look at certain drug-related offenses as aggravated and a person with a drug conviction should not have that on their record for a lifetime. For petty drug offenses, as long as a person has waited for at least one year following the resolution of the case, a court may hear a motion for expungement. This waiting period will extend depending on the seriousness of the drug conviction, and some people may need to wait as long as ten years following the conclusion of the drug case to file their motions.
Expungement is also possible in cases where conviction occurred concerning a petty offense or municipal violation. An individual can ask a court to seal a record if more than three years have passed since the conclusion of the case. This is possible even if a person endured a conviction for another offense during this time. The lone exception is in the case of domestic violence charges where an individual must have kept a clean record for the length of the waiting period to be eligible for sealing their record.
Speak with a Greeley Expungement Lawyer Today
If you are concerned about your criminal record, it is best to speak with an attorney to learn about your options to expunge any blemishes. A Greeley expungement and sealing lawyer could determine your eligibility for sealing your records and help you build a case.
Call Jenn and Justie at Colorado Lawyer Team today to discuss your case.