Colorado Passes Sweeping Expansion of Record Sealing Relief
On August 2nd, 2019, a new law will go into effect that will expand the availability of criminal record sealing relief for scores of previously ineligible Colorodans. Following the momentum of the criminal record relief movement occurring nationwide, Colorado seeks to allow more people the opportunity to rejoin society and the workforce without carrying the stigma of a past conviction.
Prior to the passage of HB 19-1275, most Colorodans who received a conviction, but later turned their life around, were ineligible for the relief that a record sealing provided. Those who did their time and were able to demonstrate their rehabilitation were told there was nothing that could be done to provide them relief from their indefinite “sentence”: limited economic opportunity. This new law will fix that issue and go forward with providing full economic opportunity to those individuals who served their sentence and have demonstrated their rehabilitation. This is a move that should not only benefit the individuals directly receiving sealing relief, but also the broader community at large.
Colorado Record Sealing Eligibility
Eligibility under the new law is broad, but not universal. Certain offenses and offense types will continue to be ineligible for sealing relief. The state views these offenses as particularly harmful to public safety and believe records related to such offenses should remain available for review. Offenses for certain traffic misdemeanors and felonies, offenses of a particularly violent nature, or those which involve unlawful sexual behavior are among the offense types not eligible for sealing relief. If an applicant’s offense is not among those offenses excluded from relief, the primary determining factor of eligibility to file is how long it has been since the latest disposition or release from supervision. The length of the waiting period is determined by the highest level of offense for which the applicant was convicted of. Petty offenses have a waiting period of one year, while the highest offense levels have a waiting period of five years. In addition to meeting the waiting period, the court and prosecutor’s office will evaluate the application to determine if there remains a public interest in keeping the records unsealed. The severity of the crime, the number of convictions, and the length of time since the last conviction are all factors that will be considered before a sealing is granted.
The sealing is not automatic and checking off eligibility factors does not always mean an application for sealing will be granted. It is important to consider using the assistance of an experienced and qualified attorney to help with a sealing application. Our law firm has been practicing law in the field of record relief for over a decade and we have helped thousands of clients across numerous states, including Colorado. We have the requisite experience to effectively argue eligibility and deservingness of relief for our clients.
Get Your Colorado Record Sealed
If you would like relief from the stigma of having a Colorado conviction on your record, contact our law firm today to see if you are eligible. We offer two convenient avenues to determine preliminary eligibility: call us at (877) 573-7273 for one of our specialists to guide you through our eligibility test, or go to our website and take the test online. The initial consultation is free, so do not wait to see if you’re eligible. Contact us today and let’s get the process of relief started!