If you have been convicted of DUI or a related offense, you know what severe consequences that conviction can have for you and your family. In some cases, even though you were not convicted, there may be public records indicating that you were arrested on suspicion of DUI. You may wonder if there is anything that you can do in the future to expunge or seal the records of your arrest or conviction, perhaps in the hopes of preventing future employers from knowing that you have been convicted of DUI. Unfortunately, expungement or sealing of your DUI arrest or conviction records is not a possibility under Colorado law, even if you were never convicted of DUI. This is why it is crucial that you avoid a DUI conviction – and preferably, a DUI arrest – at all costs. The reality is that even if you do not get convicted, your arrest and charges will never disappear from public record.
Expungement of Records Under Colorado Law
Expungement is the legal process by which a criminal record is complete destroyed, just as if it had never existed. If you have a criminal record that is expunged, you are not required to tell prospective employers about your record because it no longer exists. However, only juvenile delinquency records can be expunged under Colorado law. Therefore, if you were arrested or convicted of a DUI or DUI-related charge as a juvenile and you meet certain other conditions including no further juvenile or adult criminal convictions, you may be able to have your records expunged. Expungement also is subject to certain timeframes following your last contact with the criminal justice system.
Sealing of Adult Arrest and Criminal Records
Generally, Colorado law permits you to seal arrest and criminal records in which you were never charged with a crime, the charges against you were dismissed, or you were acquitted or found not guilty. There are special rules that apply to criminal records resulting from offenses that were not charged or dismissed as a result of a plea agreement. If your records are successfully sealed, law enforcement agencies must report that no records exist, and you may state that no such records exist, as well.
Typically, you can file a request to seal your records ten years or more after the disposition of the criminal case, so long as you have not been charged for any other criminal offense during that ten-year time frame. However, you cannot have your records sealed if you still owe restitution, fines, court costs, or other fees that the court ordered you to pay. Plus, records of most motor vehicle offenses cannot be sealed. Unfortunately, pursuant to C.R.S. 24-72-702(4)(d), records of DUI or DUI-related offenses cannot be sealed.
Sealing of Adult Criminal Convictions
There are only limited circumstances under which the court will seal records of a criminal conviction. The process for sealing a criminal conviction is similar to that of sealing an arrest record or other criminal record. Some drug convictions that occurred after July 1, 2011 are not eligible for sealing at all. Other drug convictions may be sealed under very strict circumstances. Overall, there are a number of conditions that you must meet before you are able to seal records of an adult criminal conviction. However, records of a DUI conviction are not eligible for sealing under Colorado law.
Contact the Tiftickjian Law Firm for Help
We know how difficult it can be when you are accused of DUI or a similar criminal offense under Colorado law, but we also know how important it is to avoid a DUI conviction. No matter what the circumstances, however, we can help. Let us assist you in building a strong defense to the charges against you. Contact the Tiftickjian Law Firm today, and let us show you how we can help.