A criminal conviction may prevent you from obtaining employment or housing. While criminal records used to be fairly well-kept secrets, modern “background check” technology makes your record widely and easily accessible to almost anyone in a matter of seconds. If you seal your record, it will no longer be visible to the public in such “background checks”. However, it will remain visible to the Court, law enforcement, and criminal justice agencies.
Unfortunately, not all criminal records can be sealed. The following types of cases can be sealed easily, either by filing a motion or petition to seal in the jurisdiction where charges were originally investigated or filed, and paying a small filing fee:
All charges were dismissed.
The Defendant was acquitted of all charges at trial.
There is only an arrest record, and no charges were filed in Court.
Defendant successfully completed a pre-trial diversion agreement.
Defendant successfully completed a deferred judgment.
Despite the above, a successfully completed deferred judgment on any sex offense cannot be sealed, pursuant to M.T. v. People.
Sealing of Municipal Offenses or Municipal Court Convictions
Municipal courts are smaller courthouses dealing only with lower-level violations dictated by city code or ordinance as opposed to state-wide laws.
Municipal court convictions can be sealed three years after the completion of the sentence. So, if you are sentenced to one year of probation, you would need to wait at least three years after the date you finish that one year of probation to file your request for record sealing.
It is important to note that if you have since being convicted in the municipal case, been charged or convicted with any misdemeanor or felony offense, you will not be eligible to seal your municipal conviction record.
It is also important to make sure you have totally paid off your court costs and any restitution before requesting to have your conviction sealed, as any outstanding balance would make you ineligible have your record cleaned up.
Sealing of Criminal Conviction Records
In 2019, the Colorado Legislature enacted sweeping new legislation changing which cases would be eligible for sealing – significantly expanding eligibility for record removal. This change will make many who previously were prejudiced by a criminal conviction eligible for sealing.
Who is now eligible?
In addition to the cases that were eligible under previous law, referenced above, the following convictions are now eligible:
Convictions for Class 2 Misdemeanors, Class 3 Misdemeanors, and any Drug Misdemeanors. These cases may be sealed two years after the completion of any sentence imposed in the case.
Convictions for Class 4 Felonies, Class 5 Felonies, Class 6 Felonies, Level 3 Drug Felonies, Level 4 Drug Felonies, Class 1 Misdemeanors. These cases may be sealed three years after the completion of any sentence imposed in the case.
Any other convictions can be sealed three years after the completion of any sentence imposed, except that the following crimes are never eligible for record sealing:
class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses, class a or class b traffic infractions, drug distribution offenses, DUI convictions, any sexual offenses, child abuse, any sentences involving extraordinary aggravating circumstances, extraordinary risk crimes, crimes involving pregnant victims, special offender crimes, domestic violence offenses, cruelty to animals, crimes of violence, any level 1 drug felony, any class 1, 2, or 3 felony, murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular homicide, assault in the first, second, or third degree, vehicular assault, menacing, kidnapping, sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, Invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, robbery, incest, child abuse, sexual exploitation of children, crimes against at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles, domestic violence cases, stalking, any bias-motivated crime, careless driving, that results in the death of another person; failure to stop at the scene of an accident, where the accident results in the death of another person; retaliation against a witness or victim, tampering with a witness or victim, Indecent exposure, human trafficking, first degree burglary, retaliation against a judge, retaliation against a prosecutor, retaliation against a juror, child prostitution, procurement of a child for sexual exploitation, pimping of a child, inducement of child prostitution, patronizing a prostituted child.
You can only petition to have your criminal records to be sealed once in any twelve month period.
What does the Court consider in deciding whether or not to seal your record?
In any petition to seal a criminal conviction, it is critical that you not have been charged with and convicted of any criminal offenses in the period since the resolution of your case to provide you with the best opportunity for success. You will be required to submit a current criminal history along with your application for sealing.
In the sealing of less serious convictions, the Court needs only to consider whether you are eligible to seal.
In sealing of more serious convictions, the position of the prosecuting attorney will be sought. If they object, your case will be set for a hearing. If they do not object, the case likely will resolve without a hearing – except in the most serious of cases, which require a hearing. The court will consider several factors in considering whether or not to grant your request to seal, including the severity of the underlying offense, your criminal history, the number of convictions sought to be sealed, and the need for the prosecuting agency to retain your criminal records.
What happens if you are charged with a new offense after your case has been sealed?
If you are convicted of any new offense after your case has been sealed, the law will require your previously sealed records to be unsealed.
If you have any questions about whether or not your conviction is eligible for record sealing, please do not hesitate to contact criminal defense lawyer Kimberly Diego for an evaluation of your eligibility to petition the Court for record removal.
Can a Dismissed DUI be Sealed?
It depends. If any other traffic offenses were charged alongside DUI in the dismissed case, then it probably can’t be sealed. However, some courts have determined that a dismissed DUI can be sealed so long as all charges in the case have also been dismissed. Prosecutors do routinely object to the sealing of a DUI charge under all circumstances, and these petitions are often denied by the Court without even holding a hearing.
However, if all charges were dismissed, there may be an argument for sealing and it is certainly worth an attempt, so long as the uncertainties of the process are understood.
Will My Petition to Seal Be Successful?
It is not possible for an attorney to guarantee results in any particular case. However, so long as your case is eligible for sealing, and your case falls under the first category of sealable cases – those that were dismissed outright or due to a successfully completed deferred judgment – success is very likely.
In those cases involving convictions, success is somewhat less likely and will depend upon numerous factors including the facts of your case, and the jurisdiction in which your petition must be filed. Those petitions tend to actually be litigated at a hearing due to the frequency of district attorneys’ filing of objections in such cases involving criminal convictions being sought to be sealed.
How Do I Seal My Criminal Records?
When attempting to seal your criminal record, it is best to speak to an attorney experienced in handling such petitions. If your petition is not handled appropriately, and the paperwork properly filled out and all procedures followed with precision, your petition may be denied or the sealing itself may be incomplete.
Additionally, an appearance is typically unnecessary in a petition to seal given that hearings are usually vacated several days before they are scheduled. Should an appearance be necessary, as it is in several jurisdictions in Colorado, an attorney can appear on your behalf.
The Law Office of Kimberly Diego has handled hundreds of these petitions successfully and can efficiently do so for you for a reasonable flat fee.
If you want your criminal record sealed, call Kimberly now at (720) 257-5346 for a FREE 45-minute consultation.
I had no experience with the justice system when I got my charge and would have been COMPLETELY lost in court without Kimberly there to get me through the process! I was certain I would at least get probation and fines, but Kim actually got my case dropped in the end! I couldn't believe it! I had other lawyers tell me I was in for much more but Kim went above and beyond to get the job done with the utmost integrity and professionalism! I would highly recommend her to anyone needing an attorney. Thanks again, Kim!
Oct 7, 2015
by Annie on
hen I started looking for a criminal lawyer to help with my husband's criminal case, I went through many initial consultations with other lawyers which resulted in me getting turned away because they felt our situation was hopeless. When I contacted Kimberly via email to ask if she thought she could help, I had barely just sent out the email when I saw a response from her. She told me she was confident she could help us, and she just made me feel so positive about everything. Kimberly has always been quick to respond, and she is great at mixing her professionalism with her compassion for the law and helping people get through their issues. I never doubted that she would help my husband get his open warrant lifted while he could not appear in person. We currently live in Brazil and we needed his warrant lifted in order for us to be able continue the immigration process, and despite all of the odds against us, she still did it! I highly recommend her services if you are looking for someone who is personal and professional, good at what they do, and not afraid to take on difficult cases. My husband's case is not yet finished completely yet, but we know Kimberly will get us through it!
Oct 7, 2015
by G. on
I retained Kimberly Diego to represent me in a criminal case in 2010. I found her to be a very competent criminal defense attorney. She was able to assist me in getting my case dismissed. She knows the ins and outs of the Colorado courts and is able to offer sound advice based on that knowledge. Her fees were both reasonable and fair. I would highly recommend Ms. Diego.
Oct 7, 2015
by Stephanie on
My husband & I are very happy in having chosen Kimberly Diego as our attorney. She negotiated and got the best outcome for my husband's case. I recommend anyone needing legal help contact Kim as she not only is professional but also takes a personal interest in her client's and their final outcome. Again Kim thank you for your excellent representation!
Oct 7, 2015
by Robert on
We contacted Kimberly Diego for a DUI that involved some very difficult circumstances with law enforcement officers. Upon dealing with this very serious situation, I knew that it was going to be complicated and difficult to get through. I was facing my 3rd DUI conviction, yet the law enforcement officers in this case acted unethically. Kimberly was diligent in hiring two key investigators to gather information that would benefit my case, and in the end all the work aided in the DUI charge being dropped. Although my wife and I never want to go through a situation like this again, we would recommend Kimberly for a defense attorney. Her focus, will to not quit, and focus to the detail that was necessary for my case, were all key in her work with me. Kimberly is very busy yet we learned quickly that she was doing the work necessary to be ready for our court date. We highly recommend Kimberly!
Oct 7, 2015
by Dean on
I was truly fortunate to have Kimberly Diego as my Lawyer. She seems to practice law because she believes in the judicial process. Her negotiation skills and knowledge put me at my best advantage with respect to defending myself. It was evident in court that she was a trustworthy expert, and enabled me to enter a fair and reasonable plea. Her representation gave me confidence, and helped put my life back on track, a sort of reform that jail time or longer probation could never have accomplished. Moreover, Ms Diego is a realist, but still took on challenge. She went above and beyond what any other lawyers I spoke with could not even fathom. She did what was necessary to represent me in all aspects of my defense needs. Finally Ms Diego was efficient and worked quickly keeping the amount of billable hours to a number I could afford. I highly recommend Ms Diego as a defense lawyer.
Oct 7, 2015
by Brent on
Hello Kim, I wanted to thank you for representing me with my recent incident in the Boulder area. You wasted no time in contacting the court to address my case. We we received feedback from the court about my case, you were not satisfied with their statement for my outcome. You took the case back to them, and you presented reasons for them, to offer me a better deal. I believe I received the best outcome I could possibly receive, for my situation. If I have another opportunity to use you again, I would certainly not hesitate, in calling you for my representation. Thank you again, for your help.
Oct 7, 2015
by Sekou on
Kimberly is a true professional. Shes professional, but not cold and strictly business. Kim took time to listen and ask questions and never being in a position in which i needed a lawyer, she actually made me feel as though i was a friend of hers that was in trouble and in need of her help. Kim was there for me and with her help and true professionalism the "other side" resorted to dropping all charges. Im am grateful that i made that call to Kimberly Diego and i would highly recommend her to represent you in court. Again thank you Kimberly, although i would NEVER want to go through it again, im glad to have met you, im happy to have had you represent me and consider you a friend
Oct 7, 2015
by Travis on
I contacted Kim concerning a case, which involved Indecent Exposure charges. Throughout the entire episode, she remained professional and courteous. I found her fees to be reasonable and fair. I was prepared to plea to the lesser charge, in exchange for a dismissal of the Indecent Exposure charge. After she explained she got both charges dismissed, I raised both my hands in triumph.
Oct 7, 2015
by Wayne on
Thank you so much for handling our daughters shoplifting case. The results were better than we expected. The professionalism and courtesy you showed in handling our case, and the updates and keeping us informed were always well timed and more than adequate. If I ever have the need (or anyone I know has the need) for a shoplifting attorney, I will definitely choose you or recommend you. GREAT JOB!!!"
For a Free Consultation
Ready to take the first step towards protecting your future? Contact Kimberly Diego to schedule a free 45-minute consultation, where you can explore the unique circumstances of your case and determine your options. You can call Ms. Diego via phone at 720-257-5346, or simply fill out a free case review form to have a representative from the Law Office of Kimberly Diego contact you promptly.
Ms. Diego works with clients in the Denver metro area and beyond, including Boulder, Brighten, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Lakewood, Englewood, Aurora, White Ridge, Arvada, Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs. She has experience defending clients in all counties, including Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, and Lakewood.
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