A few years back, you had a scary run-in with the law. You got arrested. You got charged. You thought worrying about going to prison was the worst part of your life.
Thankfully, you were smart enough to decide to hire a skilled criminal attorney, and they helped you completely beat your charges. You did not have to face any criminal penalties and were able to get back to your life. Everything was great.
Except potential employers do not call you back after interviews. Landlords have been turning down your lease applications. Banks are unfriendly. Even dating has been difficult.
Is this some kind of cosmic judgment?
More like societal judgment.
As a respected defense attorney who has been protecting the rights of his clients since 2005, Jeff Weeden has discovered something incredibly important: the vast majority of people out there do not really understand how criminal records work. Because the system makes no sense.
Criminal records are supposed to alert others to the fact that you have engaged in criminal activity in the past. They are a permanent scarlet letter that you have to carry with you for the rest of your life. Most people understand this… but they believe that it applies only to people who have been convicted of their crimes.
Not so much.
The second you are arrested or charged with a crime, the incident goes onto your criminal record. If you are convicted, that will go on there as well. Same if you are acquitted or if your case is dropped or dismissed.
Put another way, even if you are wrongfully arrested and your lawyer is able to convince the prosecutor that you do not deserve to be charged, allowing you to get back to your life more or less immediately, there will still be a record of your arrest.
A record that anyone who conducts a background check on you will be able to see. Employers. Landlords. Banks. Prospective romantic partners.
Frustrating? Absolutely. Unfair? No question.
That, however, is the way that our system works.
Thankfully, there is a way to get rid of some types of records in certain situations. In Colorado, it is a process known as record sealing (for adult records) or expungement (for juvenile records), and it can make it so that only a few very select individuals and agencies are ever able to see your record.
Jeff Weeden Can Tell You Whether or Not You Qualify for Sealing or Expungement in Colorado
There are a number of qualifications and requirements to getting your record sealed or expunged in our state. Unfortunately, it is not something that everybody can do, and there are different rules for juveniles and adults.
If there are juvenile offenses on your record, pretty much anything can be expunged – arrest records, court records, and even convictions.
There is not as much leeway with adult offenses in Colorado. If an adult is arrested but not charged, that record can be sealed. Beyond that blanket allowance, however, things get more complicated. Courts typically allow most petty offenses and municipal offenses to be sealed, but not always. It is also possible to seal certain kinds of drug convictions, though convictions in general tend to be tougher to seal.
What a Knowledgeable Denver Criminal Attorney Can Do to Help You Get a Clean Slate
The biggest difficulties in getting a Colorado criminal record sealed or expunged come down to understanding the law and completing the process in an accurate and timely fashion. That may not sound like a big deal, but it involves making sure you get the correct paperwork from the correct offices. That you fill everything out completely and without errors. That you turn it in to the right place.
If any mistakes are made, it can mean that your petition will be rejected, and you will have to do everything all over again.
Having an experienced lawyer like Jeff Weeden on your side throughout this process means that you do not have to worry about problems like this. Because he has handled countless record sealing and expungement petitions over the years, he knows the process like the back of his hand.
If there is a hiccup in him dealing with your record, it will likely involve one of the other parties from the original case objecting to your petition. When this happens, it is even more important to have a knowledgeable lawyer by your side who understands how to make your argument as strong as possible to convince the court that there is more societal benefit to sealing your record than leaving it in place.
What exactly will Mr. Weeden do?
Step 1: Have you send him a copy of your background check from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Step 2: Review the background check report to evaluate your case and determine your eligibility.
Step 3: Prepare and file your petition. This usually takes around a week, then it will take another week for the court to respond with a date for your hearing, which will likely be set for a month or so later.
Step 4: Attend your record sealing or expungement court hearing.
Step 5: Deal with any objections that arise. If there are no objections, your petition should be granted at the hearing and your records should be sealed in 1-3 months.
Working with Competent Counsel Gives You the Best Possible Chance of Having Your Colorado Record Sealed
Whether you made a mistake and repaid your debt to society long ago or fought back and proved that it was law enforcement officials who made the mistake, your criminal record will continue to follow you around – unless you do something about it.
You really should, too, because living with that stain makes life far harder than it needs to be.
Stop putting it off. Regain control of your future and change how people look at you. Reach out to Jeff Weeden at WeedenLaw and get started on cleaning your slate today.
You can contact our Denver office for more details on expungements and sealings by calling us at (720) 310-2141, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing our simple online case review form.
Free yourself from the stigma of having a criminal record and learn how much better life can be.