Expungements in Colorado
Many people make mistakes that result in a criminal arrest or conviction, and after completing the terms of their criminal case, they carry on as responsible, productive citizens. However, the criminal arrest or conviction record remains a public document and can interfere with a person’s opportunity to get a loan or find a job. In certain circumstances, this record can be closed and sealed so that it is no longer available for anyone to access. The process is called “expungement, ” and if you have a criminal record that doesn’t reflect who you are today, you may be able to have it expunged from your record. Colorado Statutes § 24-72-308.
When Expungement of a Crime Is Available
There are four circumstances that permit permanent expungement of a criminal record:
- If you were arrested but not charged with a crime.
- If the state dismissed its case against you after charging you with a crime.
- If you proceeded to trial and were found not guilty of any crime.
- If the crime involved possession of a controlled substance and you’ve completed all aspects of your conviction. In this instance, there may be other circumstances that are relevant in your case. Your defense attorney will compare your case to current Colorado law to determine if you are eligible to have a drug offense expunged from your record. Colorado Statutes § 24-72-308.6
Each of these circumstances demonstrates that even if the state has filed papers (created a record) indicating that you may have committed a crime, if it hasn’t proved that to be true; therefore, you are innocent and should have that criminal record removed.
There are several exceptions to the expungement laws, and discussing your case with an experienced defense attorney will reveal if you are eligible to have your record expunged.
Expungement of Other Evidence
In today’s criminal jurisdiction culture, law enforcement professionals typically collect evidence from a variety of sources in every case, even if those are eventually proven to be irrelevant. If you were arrested or charged with a crime but were never convicted, you may be able to have the biological evidence that law enforcement personnel took from you expunged from your record as well.
Expunging evidence is of particular importance if the state collected DNA from your saliva, blood or another bodily fluid. DNA evidence is specific to the individual and, if found at a crime scene, conclusively proves that the DNA contributor was there at some point in time.
Both states and the federal government rely on DNA evidence to prove or disprove the identity of suspects and criminals. After collection, the agencies often submit the DNA samples to a DNA database that is accessible to law enforcement and other officials. If the database is national, then law enforcement officials from across the country can compare evidence from their cases with the DNA evidence in the database to identify people who’ve committed crimes in other jurisdictions. If you were proven innocent or not tried at all, removing your DNA from local, state and national DNA databanks preserves your privacy and prevents you from being considered a potential suspect in any crime.
The Pollart Miller Criminal Defense practice is ready to take your case. Let our hard working and intelligent attorneys clear your good name!