Getting a job with a criminal conviction on your record can present quite a challenge for many Coloradoans. Today, employers use comprehensive background checks that are sure to spot any type of criminal history.
If you have a criminal record, don’t lose hope. There are some things you must understand about getting a job with a criminal history, but it’s not impossible. More importantly, there are legal remedies that can be used in some cases to ensure your criminal history isn’t an issue. Read on to find out more.
Criminal History Impact
After a criminal conviction – or even record of an arrest for something of which you were never charged or found guilty – prospects of future employment can change. Many employers today focus on whether or not people who work for them come with a criminal history. They do so with criminal background checks and simply asking during the interview process. If you have a criminal record, you are required to disclose it when directly asked.
Under Colorado law, employers can legally inquire about your criminal history. However, records that have been expunged in Colorado do not require you to disclose any criminal history that has been sealed legally, even if you do have a criminal record.
If you have a visible criminal background, meaning your record has not been expunged or sealed, then you should be forthcoming about it to a prospective employer. After all, if they find out anyway through a background check, you most certainly will be denied employment for lying about it.
How Can You Find a Job?
If you’ve got a criminal history, then you may have to start out by seeking employment through friends and family who are willing to take risks on hiring someone with a criminal past. The first job post-criminal record may not be ideal, but it doesn’t have to be that way forever. You have to start somewhere. Creating a fresh history of employment is one of the best things you can do for yourself, aside from meeting with a layer to see if your record can be expunged or sealed.
What Is Record Sealing in Colorado?
When a criminal record is sealed in Colorado, it means that a person’s criminal history is merely hidden from public view. That means it will not show up on background checks, but it is still available to law enforcement as well as the courts. Having your record sealed means that if you are asked about criminal history in a job interview, you do not have to disclose it – which can help with job prospects.
Not everyone is eligible to have their Colorado criminal record sealed. Whether or not you are eligible for record sealing depends on the type of offense in your record, whether or not you were convicted, your age, and when the case was closed or dismissed. The types of things that are often sealed include:
- Arrest records without convictions (if no plea bargain was taken)
- Arrest records without criminal charges filed
- Certain convictions, although there’s a long list of convictions that cannot be sealed – such as Class 1 felonies, DUIs, and sex crimes
- Underage records
- Underage DUIs
Having a criminal record sealed will require you to wait a certain amount of time before it can be legally executed. For example, any arrest records that aren’t attached to a conviction can be immediately sealed, whereas Class 4 felonies require a three year waiting period after the end of the case. Meeting with an experienced attorney can help you understand if you are eligible for record sealing.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2020 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.