Record Sealing

You don’t need an attorney to tell you that “domestic violence offender” is a terrible label that can haunt you for the rest of your life.

One of the most common questions asked by people who have successfully navigated the challenge of a domestic violence case is: “how can I keep the public from knowing that I was once charged with domestic violence?” The answer to this question is that the process of Colorado Record Sealing can, for cases that are eligible, eliminate public access to arrest history and criminal case information that would otherwise be revealed in a criminal history background check.

 

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, even if you have never been convicted, this information will already show up in a background check.

 

In addition to causing a public background screening to come back clean, a Colorado Record Sealing also permits you to answer questions about your criminal history as if the offense had never occurred. Because we live in an age where potential employers, landlords, colleges and Universities and many other entities will run a background check on all their applications, a Colorado Record Sealing can make all the difference to applicants seeking new work, educational, or housing opportunities.

 

In Colorado, a person can only petition to seal their criminal record under certain specific and limited circumstances. In order to be eligible to seal your domestic violence record your case must meet one of three specific criteria:

 

You were arrested but never formally charged; or
All charges against you were ultimately dismissed; including by your successful completion of a “deferred judgment” probationary period; or
You were acquitted of all charges at a trial.

 

The sealing process is a civil process that is separate and distinct from the underlying criminal proceeding.

A person interested in sealing their criminal record must first petition the District Court in the judicial district where the criminal case originally arose. After a petition is filed, the court will set a hearing on the petition to seal. Notice is then given to all interested parties, generally consisting of the district attorney’s office, the arresting agency and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, in order to determine if any interested party objects to the petition to seal. If an interested party objects to the petition to seal, the court will conduct an evidentiary hearing and determine if the privacy rights of the individual outweighs the public’s need to have permanent access to the information. Generally, if there are no objections, the court will make a determination on the petition without a hearing. However, certain jurisdictions require an appearance at a hearing regardless if objections are filed or not.

 

Contact one of our Boulder Criminal Defense Attorneys for more information.

 

It is important to note that even when the court grants your petition to seal, law enforcement and other certain limited agencies will always have access to your records.

 

Nancy Salomone understands the intricacies involved in petitioning the court and contacting the relevant agencies in order to ensure that a person’s criminal record and arrest history are properly sealed. The sealing process can take several months and therefore should be begun before you anticipate an upcoming criminal history background check. If you have a case that is eligible for sealing, I encourage you to contact me immediately so that we can get started on the process. If you have just been charged or are under investigation for a domestic violence case, it will likely be especially important to you that the accusation is resolved so as to make you eligible for records sealing in the future. I encourage you to contact me as early as possible in the process, so that I can help you find a resolution that will allow your record to be sealed in the future.
 

 
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