"I'm sorry Mr. Jones but we are unable to hire you because you have a criminal record."
Have you ever been told this or something similar? The National Bureau of Economic Research announced December 1st that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession. Undoubtedly, job seekers across Colorado are all facing increased scrutiny when applying for jobs. However, job seekers with a prior criminal record endure even more resistance from potential employers versus those without a criminal record. Fortunately, all hope is not lost. Colorado law allows for criminal records to be sealed under certain circumstances. Whether or not you are eligible to petition to seal your Colorado criminal record depends upon a variety of different factors, including such things as the type of charge, whether or not charges were ever filed, and the nature of the disposition. All of these things have a direct impact on the threshold question, "Can my record be sealed?"
As of July 1, 2008 the types of criminal records that can be sealed was modified to allow certain types of criminal convictions (including felonies) to be sealed. This was not any small event as similar legislation was vetoed by Governor Bill Ritter (a former prosecutor) in 2007. Nevertheless, the Governor and the state legislature have provided additional relief for those who would now seek to have their convictions sealed. However, even if a record is "eligible" to be sealed it still must endure a record sealing hearing before it will be granted. The hearing is mandated by statute and allows for agents involved with the criminal record (e.g. local police, prosecuting attorney, or any other agency) to object and to litigate the record sealing. Ultimately, the decision as to whether or not a record should be sealed rests with the presiding judge who will weigh the rights of the private citizen versus the public's interest in maintaining the record. Those who are successful in getting their record sealed no longer have to live under the continuing stigma that is associated with the mere presence of a criminal record.
More importantly, considering these tough economic times, employers, educational institutions, state and local government agencies, officials, and employers will hopefully not, in any application or interview or in any other way, require an applicant to disclose any information contained in sealed records. Allowing the job applicant to apply with more confidence. It is a process to seal a record and is not accomplished overnight and the success of getting a record sealed is dependent upon a multitude of factors.
Ultimately, if you have a criminal record, all hope is not lost. Under the right circumstances you may be able to escape the prejudice, social stigma, and additional luggage that accompany a criminal record.
While we hope you benefit from the information we posted above, it is important to note that we always suggest you contact an attorney to advise you and walk you through the legal process so that you can achieve the best possible result.
This blog was posted by Jonathan M. Lucero, an associate attorney at Shazam Kianpour & Associates, P.C. You may contact him directly at our law firm at 303-825-1075 or at https://www.shazamlaw.com/