Sealing of Records – Just Got Easier

Well, not “just.” In 2016 Colorado revised the statute that allows you to seal certain criminal records so they do not show up on background checks and you do not have to disclose them on job applications. This statute is CRS § 24-72-702.5 (2016) under the simplified procedure. If your case was dismissed, you were acquitted, you completed diversion or you completed a deferred judgment (and as long as you were not convicted of specific crimes that cannot be sealed, such as a DUI or DWAI) then you are eligible to have your record sealed.

There are two ways that your record can be sealed under CRS § 24-72-702.5. The first is that once your case is completed, on your last court date, your attorney can request the sealing while on the record in court. The other way is for your attorney to file a motion requesting the sealing. One of the factors for the court to consider before sealing records is whether the “harm to privacy of the petitioner or dangers of unwarranted adverse consequences outweigh the public interest” of maintaining the criminal records as public. CRS § 24-70-704.

Whether your attorney requests the sealing in open court or files a motion, the court may schedule the case for a hearing. If the judge requires such a hearing, it could be for a few different reasons, including but no limited to if the case was a case that would require contact with the victim.  The purpose of the hearing is to give the victim in the case the opportunity to be heard before the judge makes the decision of whether or not to seal the criminal records. This revised statute is allowing more records to be sealed than before, so if you have an old criminal record and you’re interested in finding out if you can seal it under the new sealing statute, reach out to a lawyer to find out.