Grand Junction Record Sealing Lawyers
A criminal record isn’t just a black mark on your background. It can have a profound impact on your ability to find employment, apply for an apartment, and even get a loan you may be in desperate need of. That is why, for many people in Colorado, getting their criminal records sealed is a must. However, the process is not an easy or short one. It may be best to ask for help.
We at Peters & Nolan, LLC, know the process inside and out and can walk you through the steps you need to take to get your record sealed. An arrest, and even a conviction, should not continue to haunt you after you have served your time. To get the guidance you need, call us at (970) 243-4357.
Getting your record sealed is considered a privilege, not a right. Only a select number of people are eligible to have their records sealed following an arrest or a conviction. Knowing if you are eligible is incredibly important before you begin the application process.
You may only petition the Court to seal arrest or criminal records if:
- All the charges were dismissed, or the Defendant was acquitted of all charges;
- There is only an arrest record and no charges were filed in a Court;
- The Defendant had a case that was dismissed due to a plea agreement in another case and 10 or more years have passed from the final disposition of all criminal proceedings and no additional criminal charges since the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings have been filed against the Defendants.
- The Defendant was convicted of eligible crimes, as in crimes that do not specifically mark the Defendant as ineligible for a record seal.
You may not petition the Court to seal arrest or criminal records if:
- The Defendant has been convicted of an offense for which the factual basis involved unlawful sexual behavior pursuant to C.R.S. 16-22-102(9)
- An offense was not charged due to a plea agreement in a separate case but 10 years have not passed since the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against the Defendant; or
- A dismissal occurred as part of a plea agreement in a separate case but 10 years have not passed since the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against the Defendant; or
- The Defendant still owes restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, or other fees ordered by the Court in the case of being requested to seal unless the Court has vacated such order; or
- The offense pertains to a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense, or to a class A or class B traffic infraction, or a conviction for a violation of Driving Under the Influence, C.R.S. 42-4-1301(1)or (2).
So long as you were not convicted of a class 1, 2, or 3 felony; a class 1 or 2 misdemeanor; a sex crime; a DUI; domestic violence; or a class A or B traffic infraction, you should be eligible to have your record sealed under Colorado law. However, being eligible does not mean you will automatically get it.
Getting your record sealed is a multi-step process that doesn’t happen overnight. It will involve copious amounts of paperwork and communication with the proper authorities. The process may differ depending on the type of record you’re trying to seal. In a typical case, there are around six steps that you will have to take to get your record successfully sealed. These include:
- First, you must get a copy of your criminal records from the police department.
- Second, you have to get a current verified copy of your criminal history from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI). This may take a bit longer than working with the police department.
- Third, you will have to fill out the appropriate forms. These you can find on the Colorado Judicial Branch website, which will direct you to the petition forms you need for your particular appeal.
- Fourth, once you have all the needed paperwork completed, you must file it with the correct court. This is usually the court where the case took place. If your criminal case was heard in Grand Junction, then you file it with the Grand Junction court.
- Fifth, after the petition has been sent in, the court will review it and determine whether it should be accepted or denied. The court may decide to schedule a hearing with you in order to help it determine whether your record should be sealed.
- Sixth, and finally, if your record seal is approved, then you will need to send copies of the court order to all of the agencies that have your criminal record on file, which will include at least the police department as well as the CBI.
All of that being said, you must first make sure that the crime you were arrested for or convicted of does not make you ineligible, and that you have waited the required amount of time following your conviction. To get a criminal record sealed, your case must be concluded, which means you have served your court-ordered sentence. If you were required to spend six months in jail and six months on probation, then your probation must be completed before you can file for a record seal.
On top of that, depending in the crime, you may be required to wait for a further one to five years. For example, if you were convicted of petty theft, then you would have to wait one year after your case was concluded in order to petition the court. If you were convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor, then you would have to wait three years following the conclusion of your case to request your record be sealed.
While getting your record expunged is more thorough than getting it sealed, because it means your criminal record has essentially been wiped clean, only a few people are eligible for an expungement. Only those who were arrested as juveniles or who were arrested due to mistaken identity get their records expunged in Colorado.
Even then, there are some crimes that would make you ineligible for an expungement, such as class 1, 2, and 3 felonies; class 1 and 2 misdemeanors; and DUIs. The process for an expungement is similar to that of a seal, and both can take a great deal of time, especially when you are unsure of what you are doing. If you want your record sealed as quickly as possible, you need to talk with a professional.
Even if you had a case that was dismissed it will still show up on a background check, and can cause you hardship later on, from finding employment or that case information being used against you if you have another arrest for a different crime. The truth is that having a criminal record can seriously impede your life, and getting it sealed or expunged is in your best interests. Speak with a Grand Junction criminal defense attorney -- call Peters & Nolan, LLC, at (970) 243-4357 today. We are ready and waiting to help.
If you are unsure of what is on your background check, you can run a background check using the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Records Check.
- Charges: Possession with intent to distribute ecstasy
∗ Result: Dismissed prior to trial, records sealed with the court
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∗ Not all criminal cases are the same. These results are from actual cases handled by the attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC. This is not a representation, guarantee or promise as to the results or outcome of your particular matter.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.