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1) What does it mean to have your records sealed?

Having your record sealed means that your records are no longer viewable to the public. Civilian background checks will not be able to find your record in the Colorado state record systems at all. It also means you can legally claim that you were never charged with the crime. There are a few minor exceptions, but in general, employers, employees, landlords, and state and local government cannot require disclosure of sealed conviction records in any way, including through applications or interviews. Further, even if the sealed record is discovered, an application cannot be denied solely because of a refusal to disclose sealed conviction records. Having your records sealed may allow you get a job, housing, loans, and many other things that might not be possible with a criminal record.

2) How does a case get sealed?

Generally, a motion or petition to the court is required to start the sealing process. At SealMyCourtCase.com, our attorneys will file a motion or a petition with the court to seal your case. In some instances, the court can rule on the motion without the need for a hearing. Other times a hearing may be required, in which case we will have a qualified attorney appear at the hearing with you. Whenever the court orders a case to be sealed, SealMyCourtCase.com will then take the necessary steps to ensure the sealing takes full effect, so you can move on with your life.

3) Is there a required waiting period before a case can be sealed?

It depends. If your case was dismissed, either outright or after a successfully completed deferred judgment and sentence, it is likely eligible to be sealed immediately. For cases where you were convicted of a crime, it will generally take at least two years, and sometimes as many as five, after fully completing the sentence to request that a case be sealed, but the amount of time will depend on the specific conviction. SealMyCourtCase.com’s legal team would be happy to help you determine whether you case is currently sealable, or if it may be sometime in the future.

4) What if the Court refuses to seal my records?

Sometimes the court may not allow records to be sealed for various reasons. Fortunately, that does not necessarily mean that your records can never be sealed. The court can be petitioned every 12 months to seal records that it previously refused to seal. Changes in circumstances, or the simple passage of time, may allow a court to reconsider and grant a sealing request that was previously denied. If you hire SealMyCourtCase.com to help you seal your case, and an attempt to seal your case is not initially successful, SealMyCourtCase.com will reach out to you in 12 months to see if you would like to try again.

5) But I was told my records were not sealable.

That may no longer be true. In 2019, the Colorado legislature passed an expansive law that made it possible to seal many types of records that were previously not sealable. In many cases, it is likely that a record that was not sealable in the past may now be able to be sealed. Find out for free if your case can be sealed by contacting SealMyCourtCase.com today.

6) I completed a deferred sentence. Does that mean my charges have been sealed?

No. After successfully completing a deferred sentence, your charges should be dismissed. However, just because charges have been dismissed does not mean that the records are sealed. Most of the time, in order to seal your dismissed records, you will still need to go through the separate process of sealing.

7) What types of criminal records can be sealed?

There are many types of records that may now be eligible to be sealed, including:

  • Dismissed charges
  • Petty offenses
  • Drug petty offenses
  • Traffic offenses
  • Municipal offenses
  • Misdemeanors
  • Unclassified misdemeanors such as DUIs, DWAIs, and DURs
  • Domestic violence misdemeanors
  • Drug misdemeanors
  • Lower level felonies
  • Lower level drug felonies

If you believe you may have criminal records that fall under this list, contact SealMyCourtCase.com today to find out for free whether you have a case that may be sealable.

8) Are domestic violence charges also sealable?

Yes, many domestic violence charges are eligible to be sealed as well, although convictions may require passing a more stringent legal test. Domestic violence is not actually a crime in itself. Rather, it is a modification which can be applied to other crimes, depending on the circumstances in which the crime was committed. Whether a domestic violence crime can be sealed will depend on how serious the underlying charges were and the outcome of the case. While domestic violence felonies are not generally sealable, many types of domestic violence misdemeanors can in fact be sealed. If you were convicted of a domestic violence crime, contact SealMyCourtCase.com to find out if your charges are eligible to be sealed.

9) I was charged with a crime, but the charges were dropped because the police thought I was someone else. What happens in these cases of mistaken identity?

In cases of mistaken identity where the charges against you were dropped, the charges must be expunged. Expungement is even more extensive than sealing because in an expunged case, most of the physical files are destroyed. In cases of mistaken identity, it is actually law enforcement’s duty to petition the court to expunge the records within 90 days after determining the mistake. The court should order the records expunged within 90 days of receiving the petition.

However, while law enforcement agencies are now supposed to petition for expungement of mistaken identification records of their own initiative, there is little doubt it will be a low priority for them. Additionally, if you have an old case of mistaken identity, it is likely that the agency may need to be prompted to take appropriate action to have that case expunged. If you have questions about this process or whether an attorney can help you with a mistaken identity case, please contact SealMyCourtCase.com.

10) Once a record has been sealed, is there any way for it to become unsealed?

Yes. While the 2019 sealing law makes it possible to seal many more types of records, it also allows for records to be unsealed. The most common way for a case to be unsealed is if you are subsequently convicted of another crime. After being convicted of a new crime, your sealed record will likely become unsealed. The good news is, your old case (and possibly your new case as well) may be eligible to be sealed once again sometime after you complete all the conditions of your new sentence. If you had a case unsealed and are wondering if it can be sealed again, contact SealMyCourtCase.com today.