Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Step By Step Procedure For Sealing a Criminal Record

Having a criminal charge, conviction or arrest on your name can have a major effect on your life. You might choose to live a decent life by getting a good job and supporting yourself. However, such a thing would be impossible for you to do if your prospective employers find out that you have a criminal past. If you plan to open up a business and you need to get a loan from a bank, then the bank professionals could deny your loan request when they find out about your past. Even landlords may not be ready to rent out a property to you.

In today’s world where information is just a click away, it is much easier than ever before to go online and have access to all of your criminal records. This will enable them to see all the details about your criminal past and any charges, convictions or arrests in your name even if they have occurred many years ago. In short, you will never have an opportunity to start anew and be a better person. However, Colorado law allows people to seal their criminal records under specific circumstances. Once sealed, these records won’t be accessible to the general public, which means that bank professionals, landlords and employers won’t be able to find out about your criminal past.

Sealing criminal record does not mean that they are destroyed; the records can still be accessed by courts, criminal justice agencies or law enforcement officials. However, the information pertaining to sealed records won’t be divulged to common public. In all day to day practices, a criminal record, once sealed or expunged can be treated as if it never happened. This naturally increases your chances of finding success when you are looking to get a job, a loan or a property.

The Role of Criminal Lawyers in Sealing Records 

Sealing a criminal record Colorado is a complex process and therefore it should always be supervised by a professional lawyer. A lawyer who has been handling such cases can help you from the first steps of sending an application to seeing it through the end that your records are sealed from the common public. It is not possible for a layman to know the various complex procedures associated with the sealing of criminal records, and only a lawyer well acquainted with such procedures can assist a client in getting his or her records sealed in the best manner.

Procedure for Getting Criminal Records Sealed

At first, a petition needs to be sent to the District Court asking to seal all the criminal records. All the legal agencies that maintain these records should also be provided with notices for the same and offered the chance to reject such a request in case anyone wants to do so for a valid reason.

If this petition to seal the criminal records is approved by the Judge, then the person in question will not be obliged to further disclose any information contained within the sealed criminal records to any local or state government agency, employer, officials, educational institution and employees for any interview or application. Moreover, if any person associated with employment or any other business matter inquires about any kind of criminal records that might have been sealed, then the person can legally claim to the contrary, stating that such a thing never happened and no such record actually exists.

In case any inquiry is called upon, all the criminal justice agencies will declare that no such criminal records ever existed. Apart from certain exceptions, once a criminal record has been sealed, these documents can only be examined by you or the prosecuting attorney when a petition to the same effect has been presented to the Judge and it is then granted by the Judge. Nevertheless, the arresting agency or individual is allowed to share vital information contained within the sealed record in case a criminal justice agency puts forth an inquiry for the same.

To know more about the process, you can always consult criminal lawyers Denver Colorado.
However, you need to remember that sealing criminal records is possible in only a handful of cases. Not all criminal cases are entitled to such a closure. Here is a brief look at the various instances when the criminal records can be sealed.

Dismissed or Non-Conviction Cases

•    When all charges have been dropped or a person is acquitted of all the charges; this may also include instances where a person has properly completed a deferred prosecution or a deferred sentence;
•    Only arrest record is present but no charges were actually filed and statute of limitations for it has expired;
•    When a case has been dismissed because of a plea agreement in a different case and 10 years or more time has passed since then without any additional criminal charges on the name; 
Criminal conviction records for certain drug offenses only
•    More than 10 years have passed since final disposition of all the criminal proceedings against the individual or the person has been released from legal supervision regarding any criminal conviction; whichever comes later;
•    The person has not been convicted or charged for criminal offenses for 10 or more years since final disposition date of all the criminal proceedings or date of release from legal supervision, whichever comes later

Records of Municipal Code Violations and Petty Offenses
•    Municipal code violation or a petty offense;
•    Three years or more have passed since date of conviction as well as the last day of the court supervision;
•    The person has not been convicted or charged for misdemeanor, felony, or a misdemeanor traffic offense over the last 3 or more years from the conviction or the last day of the court supervision

If you want to have more in-depth legal support that pertains to your specific case, then it is highly recommended that you get in touch with an attorney experienced in criminal record sealing. Only a professional lawyer experienced in such cases can give you the best expertise.