Every single day we get calls from people who want to seal their DUI. However, the process to seal your record is very very complicated. In the legislator’s view, the benefit to public safety, i.e. them knowing you have certain charges, outweighs your right to seal your case. Now, if you have a DUI charge, this seems very unfair. Especially if you get your case dismissed! Let’s take look at what the statute says about sealing your record OTHER than convictions.
How to seal records other than convictions?
Besides certain exceptions, criminal records can be sealed, except for basic identifying information, if the person was;
- Not charged,
- If the person completed a diversion agreement (C.R.S. 18-1.3-101)
- in any case which was completely dismissed,
- or in any case in which a person of interest was acquitted.
- the petition is filed ten years or more after the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against the person of interest,
- the person of interest has not been charged with a criminal offense in the ten years since the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against the person of interest.
You shall not be able to seal your record if;
- an offense is not charged due to a plea agreement in a separate case;
- a dismissal occurs as part of a plea agreement in a separate case;
- the defendant still owes restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, other fees ordered by the court in the case tat is the subject of the petition to seal criminal records, unless the court that entered the order for restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, or other fees have vacated such order.
There are a number of exceptions to being able to seal your record. These are the exceptions to being able to seal your record in the above list. The exceptions are as follows;
- a class 1 or 2 misdemeanor traffic offense,
- a class A or B traffic infraction,
- a conviction for a violation of section 42-4-1301 (Colorado’s DUI Code)
- a conviction of an offense for which the factual basis involved unlawful sexual behavior.
- a conviction of an offense concerning the holder of a commercial driver’s license or the operator of a commercial motor vehicle.
It is worthy to note, that Colorado takes DUI’s very seriously. Once you are charged with a DUI, it is almost impossible to get that record sealed, even if you get your case completely dismissed! If you plead guilty to any sort of DUI that is not a deferred judgment you will not be able to seal your record.
When you feel you are eligible to petition the court, you may send it the sealing paperwork. If the court determines that your paperwork is sufficient on its face, then the court will set a hearing to allow people from the public and any arresting agency object to sealing your record. Once the hearing is set, the judge has to determine if your right to privacy outweighs the harm done to the public if your case is not sealed. For example, if you have two DUI’s the court will determine that the public is safer in knowing you have these two DUI’s and that is more important than your right to privacy. If the court determines that you have a sufficient right to privacy, they will order all the agencies to seal your record.
This is just to outline the statute. There is a long and complex process to get your record sealed and only very limited cases are even eligible to be sealed. Contact our office to get more information on your unique case and visit the other blogs below for information on related topics.
By Shannon Lynch