Who Can See Your Criminal Records?
All criminal court records are open to the public. This means that anyone can go to the records department at the local courthouse and research whether you have been charged with and/or convicted of a crime. Having a public criminal record may harm your job prospects and impede other areas of your life. Fortunately, you may be eligible to have your records sealed. When your record is sealed, it is hidden from view from the general public.
Are You Eligible To Seal Your Case?
The following Colorado Revised Statues govern your eligibility to have your record sealed:
1. Sealing of Arrest and Criminal Records Other than Convictions, C.R.S. 24-72-702; 2. Sealing of Criminal Conviction Records, C.R.S. 24-72-703; 3. Sealing of Criminal Conviction Records Involving Controlled Substances, C.R.S. 24-72-704 and 24-705; 4. Sealing of Criminal Conviction Records Involving Petty Offenses and Municipal Offenses, 24-72-708; 5. Expungement of Juvenile Records, C.R.S. 19-1-306; 6. Sealing Underage Alcohol, C.R.S. 18-13-122.
It may be confusing to try to decipher the language of statutes. They are often complicated and difficult for a non-lawyer to understand. If you need more information on sealing your case, we are available to speak to you during office hours.
How Does Your Case Get Sealed?
The first step in sealing criminal records is petitioning the court with a civil suit in the District Court in which your charges and/or conviction records are located. The petition generally involves explaining how the records adversely impact your job prospects and lifestyle. The court will then weigh whether your needs outweigh the public interest in keeping your records public. If you are able to provide considerable reasons for the request to seal your case, your petition may be granted. As with everything that involves a judge or a jury, no outcome is ever guaranteed.
The sealing process may be long and perplexing without the benefit of an attorney. We can help. Call today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!