In a tough job climate, everything counts, including your criminal record. The last thing anyone wants is to have a past event haunting him or her when trying to switch jobs or go back to school. In certain circumstances, record sealing or expungement can be a sound option in Durango for dealing with your past. However, this process is complex, so you should consider contacting the knowledgeable Durango record sealing lawyers at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt. We have significant experience serving clients in La Plata County, Archuleta County, Montezuma County, and the Southern Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction.Record Sealing in Colorado
It is commonly assumed that someone no longer has a criminal record when a case is dismissed, an acquittal is obtained, or a charge was never filed. But if somebody is arrested or charged, a criminal record is created about his or her case even if there was no validity to the charge. The goal of record sealing is to make sure that potential employers or schools who ask about your criminal history will be told there is no record for you.
Who is allowed to seal a criminal record? You might qualify to have your police and court records sealed if you completed a deferred judgment or diversion program, if charges were dismissed, or if you have been acquitted of the charges. Additionally, some misdemeanor charges and felony drug charges from more than 10 years ago may be sealed. The rules regarding felony drug charges turn on the date of the offense, so it will be helpful to ask for an experienced attorney's advice.
There are circumstances in which record sealing is not possible. Factors which limit your ability to seal your record include the type of offense, the date of offense, and what type of plea you entered. If you still owe restitution, fines, or fees ordered by the court, you will not be eligible to seal your record until the court vacates the order creating the obligation.
Some driving-related offenses are not eligible for sealing, such as offenses that involve a class 1 misdemeanor, a class 2 misdemeanor, a class A traffic infraction, a class B traffic infraction, or a DUI conviction. Most sex crimes are also ineligible to be sealed. This includes unlawful sexual contact, incest, sex crimes against a child, invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, sexual assault, public indecency, and even attempts or solicitations related to sex crimes.Expungement of Juvenile Records
If you were arrested or charged with a crime before you were 18 years old, you may be eligible to have your record expunged. This means that the court, and law enforcement must indicated to potential employers, schools and private citizens reflect that no criminal record exists
Keep in mind, however, that even if your record is expunged, certain information regarding the records may be available to the district attorney, local law enforcement agency, the department of human services, the state judicial department, and the victim. Prosecutors may even use expunged records against you in subsequent prosecutions.
Certain types of offense are not eligible for expungement. This includes sexual offenses, juveniles charged with violent offenses, or juveniles charged as aggravated juvenile offenders.Seek Record-Sealing Advice from a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Durango
Record sealing in Colorado can help repair your reputation and make it easier to move forward with your life after criminal accusations. An experienced Durango criminal defense attorney at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt can navigate this process on your behalf depending on the facts of your case. The judge may approve your petition to seal the records, or he or she may call a hearing at which you and the prosecutor will have the opportunity to present evidence. We serve clients in Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and Ignacio. Contact Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt at (970) 259-4422 or via our online form to discuss the details of your situation.