We just had two more criminal convictions sealed by District Courts in Colorado.
These were both cases that we were hired to represent the clients on. When we got started, both of the clients only say the huge obstacles ahead. Every client experiences the real world problems that a charge can and will cause them in their lives. They could not see any light at the end of the tunnel. It is our job to show them a plan customized to their needs under their unique circumstances. Today, they both have their records sealed. Both of these clients thought about doing this on their own. Both of them realized that it is full of pitfalls since it requires a lot of time to understand the rules, follow the technical procedures, and adhere to the filing process. They both hired me to get the job done right the first time and the both told me to write a blog on this telling people to not do this on their own and hire me to do it. I thank them for their trust, confidence, and advice. Here it is.
ATTACHED ARE THE STATE OF COLORADO INSTRUCTIONS TO FILE A PETITION TO SEAL ARREST AND CRIMINAL RECORDS OTHER THAN CONVICTIONS:
ATTACHED ARE THE STATE OF COLORADO INSTRUCTIONS TO FILE A PETITION TO SEAL CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORDS INVOLVING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND PETTY OFFENSES AND MUNICIPAL OFFENSES:
The following is the main link to the State of Colorado Sealing website:
In order to qualify to have your criminal record sealed, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You were acquitted
- Your case was dismissed
- You completed a diversion agreement pursuant to C.R.S. § 18-1.3-101
- You have an arrest record, but you were not charged in court and the statute of limitations for the offense for which you were arrested that has the longest statute of limitations has run OR
- You have an arrest record, but you were not charged in court, the statute of limitations has not run and you are no longer being investigated by law enforcement for commission of the offense. For further information about specific statutes of limitations, see §16-5-401, C.R.S.
However, even if you meet the above requirements, you cannot have your criminal record sealed if:
- The record pertains to an offense that was not charged due to a plea agreement in a separate case**
- The record pertains to a dismissal that occurs as part of a plea agreement in a separate case** OR
- You still owe restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, or other fees ordered by the court in the case that you are asking to be sealed and the court has not vacated that order.
**Where your record pertains to a dismissal that occurs as part of a plea agreement in a separate case, you may still qualify to have your record sealed if 10 or more years have passed since the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against you and you have no additional criminal charges since the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings filed against you.
Other criminal records that cannot be sealed include the following:
- Records pertaining to class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense
- Records pertaining to a class A or class B traffic infraction
- Records pertaining to a deferred judgment and sentence for an offense for which the factual basis involved unlawful sexual behavior, as defined in § 16-22-102(9), C.R.S. (This does not mean you are not eligible to deregister as a registered sexual offender under Discontinue Sex Offender Registration)
- Records pertaining to a deferred judgment and sentence for an offense concerning Driving under the Influence, § 42-4-1301(1) or (2), C.R.S.
- Records pertaining to deferred judgment and sentence for an offense concerning the holder of a commercial driver’s license, or the operator of a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in § 42-2-402, C.R.S.
Here are some other frequently asked questions I receive about sealing of your case:
How do I seal my case?
You may petition the District Court by filing a civil case in the county in which any arrest and/or criminal records are filed. Instructions and forms are available on the State Judicial Website, or can be purchased at your local clerk’s office.
How much does it cost to seal my case?
- Petition to Seal Juvenile Records: $None
- Petition to Seal Underage Drinking and Driving: $None
- Petition to Seal Underage Alcohol: $None
- Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records: see District Court Civil Fees line 17 of the fee chart JDF 1 Filing Fees
- Petition to Seal Criminal Conviction Records: see District Court Civil Fees line 18 of the fee chart JDF 1. Filing Fees
- If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you must complete the Motion to File without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit. You can find the forms here.
My case is a Municipal Court case. Where do I seal my case?
- You may petition the District Court to seal records by filing in the county in which your Municipal Court Case is filed
Do I have to appear for the hearing?
- The Court may ask you questions about your request, and any objections filed. If you do not appear for the hearing, your petition to seal may be denied
What steps, if any, do I need to take after the hearing?
- If the Court grants your Petition to Seal at the hearing, it is then your responsibility to notify Colorado Bureau of Investigation and all agencies listed on the Order, by mailing each agency a copy of the signed Order. Your failure to notify the agencies may result in your record not being sealed. This is why the Law Offices of M. Colin Bresee encourages people to send the order CERTIFIED mail!
How do I know if my case is eligible to be sealed?
- Please see the instructions or review Colorado Revised Statues listed below and my more detailed explanation below:
- Sealing of Arrest and Criminal Records: 24-72-308
- Sealing of Criminal Conviction Records: 24-72-308.5
- Expungement of Juvenile Records: 19-1-306
- Sealing Underage Drinking and Driving: 42-4-1715
- Sealing Underage Alcohol: 18-13-122(10)October, 2013 Page 2
What is the difference between sealing and expungement?
- There is no difference with the exception of there is no filing fee for expungements and there is the $182 fee for a petition to seal. However, if there is a juvenile case in Municipal Court then you must file the petition to seal. Expungements are only for juvenile cases heard in District Court