How to erase the evidence of an arrest in Colorado

How to erase the evidence of an arrest in Colorado

If you’ve had a brush with the law in Colorado, there’s going to be a record of it that could follow you around for years, whether you’re guilty or not. Merely having an arrest record can make it tougher for you to land a job, get an apartment or even be approved for a credit card. With the use of technology to do background checks like never before, your past can affect your present with unprecedented frequency.

However, there is a way to combat this problem through a process called expungement. Expungement involves destroying records related to your legal issues, giving you the legal right to truthfully state that your arrest or a conviction never happened. In some cases, expungement will not be possible, but in Colorado, a person can also have their records sealed, which is slightly different but still accomplishes much of the same things as expungement.

Sealing records prevents access to those records in most cases, but they do physically still exist. Generally, access is restricted to only law enforcement and criminal justice agencies which must have a legitimate reason for wanting them unsealed.

In Colorado, only juvenile records are eligible to be expunged. A lawyer specializing in expungement can assist you with the process, which may take many weeks or even months to complete. Eligibility hinges on a person being acquitted of a charge and a charge cannot be related to a violent offense. Individuals applying for expungement of their juvenile records must have a subsequent clean record and complete a juvenile diversion program.

Adults can only have records sealed, not expunged. The act of sealing records only applies in cases where the defendant was not convicted, only in cases that were dismissed or charges were never filed. In some cases, there will be a waiting period of up to 10 years before records can be sealed, assuming all other conditions are met.

Decker & Jones serves clients in Denver, Golden and communities throughout Jefferson County, Colorado.