Clearing Your Colorado Criminal Record for a Fresh Start in Colorado

Having a criminal record in Colorado can significantly hinder various aspects of life, ranging from employment opportunities to housing and beyond. Fortunately, the state of Colorado offers a pathway to a fresh start through the process of record sealing and expungement. 

Understanding Record Sealing and Expungement

Record sealing and expungement are legal processes that allow individuals with certain criminal records to limit public access to their criminal history or completely remove it from official records. While these two processes have similarities, they apply to different types of offenses and have varying degrees of eligibility.

Record Sealing

Record sealing in Colorado involves restricting public access to criminal records, ensuring they are not accessible during background checks by employers, landlords, or the general public. Sealed records are not completely erased but are no longer visible in standard background checks. Certain convictions, arrests, and criminal records may be eligible for sealing, depending on the circumstances and the passage of time since the completion of the sentence or probation.


Expungement, on the other hand, goes a step further than record sealing. When a record is expunged, it is effectively erased from official records as if it never existed. Not all criminal records are eligible for expungement in Colorado. Juvenile records and specific low-level offenses may be considered for expungement, providing individuals with a clean slate.

Benefits of Clearing Your Criminal Record

Clearing your criminal record in Colorado can significantly impact various aspects of life. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Improved Employment Opportunities: Many employers conduct background checks before hiring employees. A cleared criminal record increases the chances of securing better job opportunities and advancing in your career.
  • Access to Housing: Landlords often conduct background checks when considering rental applications. A clean record can make it easier to find suitable housing and avoid discrimination based on past offenses.
  • Enhanced Educational Opportunities: Some educational institutions also conduct background checks for admission. A clear record can facilitate access to educational programs and scholarships.
  • Restoration of Civil Rights: Clearing your record can restore certain civil rights, such as the right to vote and possess firearms, which may have been restricted due to past convictions.
  • Peace of Mind: Living with a criminal record can be emotionally distressing and constantly remind individuals of their past mistakes. A clear record offers peace of mind and renewed hope for the future.

Benefits of Clearing Your Criminal Record

Steps to Clear Your Criminal Record

The process of clearing your criminal record in Colorado involves several steps:

  • Determine Eligibility: First, assess whether your criminal record qualifies for record sealing or expungement based on the abovementioned eligibility criteria.
  • Gather Required Documents: Collect all relevant documents related to your case, including court records, sentencing orders, and probation completion certificates.
  • Petition for Record Sealing or Expungement: Prepare the necessary legal documents and petition the court to request record sealing or expungement. This process requires strict adherence to specific guidelines and deadlines.
  • Attend the Hearing: In some cases, a hearing may be required to present your case before the court. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal proceedings effectively.
  • Await the Decision: After submitting the petition and attending any necessary hearings, await the court’s decision regarding your request for record sealing or expungement.

Clearing your criminal record in Colorado offers a chance for a fresh start and a brighter future. Whether through record sealing or expungement, the process can open up numerous opportunities for employment, education, housing, and personal growth. However, the eligibility requirements and legal procedures can be intricate, necessitating the guidance of a skilled attorney to ensure a successful outcome.

If you are ready to leave your past behind and embark on a new journey, consult with a reputable attorney who specializes in record sealing and expungement. They can help you understand your options, guide you through the process, and advocate on your behalf to secure a clean slate and a promising future. Remember, with the right legal support, a fresh start in Colorado is within reach.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.