When Can You Get A DUI Off Your Record?

In Colorado, the expungement or sealing of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction from an individual’s record is governed by specific state laws that determines when and under what circumstances such a record can be removed.

The ability to get a DUI off your record involves several steps and there are clear distinctions on when a DUI record can or cannot be sealed.

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Basic Understanding of DUI Records

A DUI conviction in Colorado is a serious offense that can have long-term consequences on a person’s criminal record. Unlike some other states, Colorado has stringent laws regarding DUI records, which generally make it difficult to completely expunge (remove) such a conviction. However, under certain conditions, it might be possible to seal (hide) the record from public view.

Sealing vs. Expungement To Get A DUI Off Your Record

It’s important to clarify the distinction between expungement and sealing:

  • Expungement removes the criminal record entirely as if the crime never occurred.
  • Sealing hides the record from the general public, but it remains accessible to law enforcement and some government agencies.

In Colorado, true expungement is typically not available for adult DUI convictions. Instead, what is offered is the possibility to seal the record, subject to stringent criteria.

Conditions Under Which a DUI Cannot Be Sealed

There are specific circumstances under which a DUI conviction cannot be sealed in Colorado:

Multiple Convictions: If a person has multiple DUI convictions, sealing any of them becomes more complicated or impossible. Colorado law generally prohibits the sealing of records for individuals with multiple DUI offenses.

Subsequent Criminal Behavior: If the individual commits further crimes, especially other DUI offenses, this can render them ineligible to seal any previous DUI conviction.

Recent Convictions: There is a waiting period before a DUI record can be sealed. For a first DUI offense, the individual must wait ten years before they can petition for sealing, provided they have not been charged or convicted of any other criminal offenses during that period.

Conditions Under Which a DUI Can Be Sealed

First Offense and Compliance: If the DUI is a first offense and the individual has completed all court-ordered penalties, including probation, community service, and payment of fines, and has not been involved in any other criminal activities during the waiting period, they might be eligible to petition for the sealing of their record.

Deferred Judgment: In cases where the court agrees to a deferred judgment and the individual successfully completes the terms of the deferral (such as probation and treatment programs), the DUI may be sealed. This is somewhat akin to the record being cleared if all conditions are met.

Process of Sealing a DUI Record

To seal a DUI record in Colorado, the individual must file a petition in the court where the case was handled. This petition needs to include specific details and justification for why the record should be sealed. The court will consider factors such as the severity of the original offense, the applicant’s criminal history, and any evidence of rehabilitation.

Impact and Limitations of Sealing

Even if a DUI record is sealed, it’s important to note that the record is not entirely erased. Sealed records can still be accessed under certain circumstances, such as by court order, by law enforcement agencies, and for certain types of employment background checks, particularly those involving government jobs or positions that require driving.

Get A DUI Off Your Record?

While it is challenging to get a DUI off your record in Colorado, under specific conditions, sealing your record might be a better choice, particularly for first-time offenders who demonstrate compliance and rehabilitation.

Got a DUI on your record that’s causing problems? Get a free case review with an experienced DUI Lawyer and let’s discuss the possibilities of getting a DUI off your record.


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