A criminal record can have adverse consequences long after it occurs. Even if you are never convicted of a crime, arrest and court records remain open to the public, so that anyone, including prospective employers, can see that you were arrested or charged with a crime. The laws regarding expungement and sealing of criminal records can be complex. Contacting a Loveland expungement and sealing lawyer may be highly beneficial to you.
An experienced criminal lawyer can evaluate your situation and advise you whether you are eligible to expunge or seal your records. If you qualify for either of these forms of relief, our team can guide you through the process of seeking expungement or sealing of records. This process may allow you to clear up your criminal history and prevent your previous criminal records from harming your current life.
Expungement of Juvenile Criminal Offenses in Loveland
Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated § 19-1-103(48) defines expungement as a designation that is available for some juvenile delinquency records. This designation renders the records to be nonexistent, or as if they never existed. Expungement is a process that allows some individuals with juvenile records to state that they were never arrested, charged, or convicted of some crimes.
Under Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19-1-306, the juvenile probation department, the juvenile parole department, the juvenile, a parent or guardian, a guardian ad litem, or the court on its motion, can all seek expungement of juvenile records. Once an expungement occurs, courts, law enforcement agencies, and other recordkeeping facilities can deny that a record ever existed. With the help of an expungement and sealing lawyer in Loveland, eligible individuals may be able to make a fresh start and put their juvenile criminal history behind them.
Eligibility for Expungement of Juvenile Records
State law sets forth specific timeframes and eligibility requirements for people who wish to have their juvenile records expunged. A court must expunge all records in a juvenile delinquency case no later than 42 days after any of the following occurs:
- A finding of not guilty following a trial
- Dismissal of the delinquency petition, including if it results in a diversion, deferred adjudication, or informal adjustment
- The completion of a sentence or alternative to sentencing for specific offenses
Juvenile records are eligible for expungement if they concern a petty offense, a drug petty offense, Class 2 or 3 misdemeanors, and Level 1 or 2 drug misdemeanors. However, the law does provide some exceptions to these general qualifications. For instance, crimes involving unlawful sexual behavior, domestic violence, and a few others are not eligible for expungement.
Individuals also must have been under the age of 18 at the time they committed the offense. Other offenses, however, may be expunged at the discretion of a judge. These offenses include felony and drug felony offenses, with a few exceptions.
Sealing of Adult Criminal Records in Loveland
Although individuals cannot expunge their adult criminal record, they can request that a court seal these records in some instances. For example, adults can seal criminal records of cases that the court dismissed and situations in which they were acquitted following a trial. Adults also can seal municipal and petty offenses and most misdemeanor drug offenses.
Generally, individuals cannot seal adult criminal records that relate to a felony offense. Nonetheless, the law does permit the sealing of records for some felony drug offenses. The assistance of an expungement and sealing attorney in Loveland can be vital in determining whether sealing of adult criminal records is an available option.
Although sealing of records under Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 24-702-703 can safeguard them from public view, criminal justice agencies, law enforcement agencies, courts, and prosecuting attorneys all still have access to criminal records. If a criminal history check is required by law, law enforcement agencies can use the sealed records to complete the check. Additionally, if the individuals commit another crime, the court will unseal their records.
Contact a Loveland Expungement and Sealing Attorney for Advice
Whether you are applying for jobs, admission to college or graduate schools, housing, or more, you may be able to prevent these entities from holding your past against you in some instances. By engaging the help of a Loveland expungement and sealing lawyer, you can start to get the relief that you need.
Expungement and sealing are limited remedies, but they do apply to many situations in which individuals deserve a fresh start. These processes can be invaluable in safeguarding your future. Call today to learn more about how an attorney could help your case.