The New Year’s Resolution You Forgot: Getting Your Colorado Record Sealed

With a new year out ahead of you, it feels as if it’s time to start fresh. One way to do that is to have your Colorado criminal record sealed or expunged.

Imagine it: Not having to sweat a criminal background check when applying for a new job or a new place to live. Or not having to admit when asked directly in an interview if you’ve ever been convicted of something. It’s possible to have these things if you can get your criminal record sealed or expunged, but it’s not a remedy everyone qualifies for.

Here’s what you need to know about Colorado record sealing and expungement to understand if it’s a path open to you this year.

Sealing and Expunging Colorado Records: What’s the Difference?

In Colorado, there are two options for certain people with criminal records: expungement and sealing. An expunged record is basically destroyed, meaning that it won’t show up on background checks anymore and cannot be accessed by anyone. It’s as if the record never existed.

A sealed record means that the record does still exist but can only be accessed by certain people such as law enforcement. It will no longer show up on criminal background checks that are performed by the public, only for certain government agencies.

Who Can Have Their Record Sealed or Expunged in Colorado?

Of the two, record expungement is the one most people would prefer to have, but it’s not an option for everyone. In Colorado, only certain juvenile criminal records are eligible for expungement. If the crime, even a juvenile crime, is violent or there were aggravating factors involved, then it’s ineligible for expungement.

Most people in Colorado seek out record sealing, and it’s available to more people as well. In the state, a record can be sealed that involves arrests, certain drug crimes, and petty offenses.

The rules surrounding record sealing can be complicated, so it’s important to have the guidance of a criminal lawyer to ensure that you qualify and the process is done right. This can help streamline the process as well.

When Can You Have Your Colorado Record Sealed or Expunged?

Before anyone can have a record expunged or sealed they must wait a certain amount of time. The only scenario this does not apply in is those who were arrested and never charged with a crime. In that case, you can file immediately for a record sealing. Other crimes have a waiting period before you can apply for a sealing, some as long as five years.

The Benefits of Colorado Record Sealing and Expunging

There are many benefits to taking the time to have your record sealed or expunged. The biggest is probably that it will no longer have an impact on jobs that you apply for or places you want to live. If you successfully have your criminal record sealed or expunged, then you don’t have to inform people of these past convictions or arrests, either. You, for all intents and purposes, can start the new year with a fresh start.


The Benefits of Colorado Record Sealing and Expunging

If you’re interested in exploring a criminal record sealing or expungement, then make sure to meet with an experienced Colorado attorney as soon as you can to understand if you qualify.


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.