Expungement is the legal process by which a criminal record is ‘erased’ in the eyes of the law. A record that has been expunged should not show up in background checks. Unfortunately, not all criminal records can be expunged. In fact, Colorado has very tight rules and regulations regarding which records are eligible to be expunged. In this article, our top-rated Denver drunk driving defense lawyer highlights the most important things that drivers in our state need to know about Colorado’s DUI expungement rules.
DUI Expungement Colorado: Only Allowed in Limited Circumstances
If you were arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a DUI or any related offense in Colorado, you may be wondering if you can get your records expunged. The answer: It is possible, but it is not easy. Under Colorado state law, DUI records can only be expunged in very limited circumstances. To be eligible to get your DUI records expunged, you must meet the following three requirements:
- There Was No Conviction: In Colorado, DUI convictions — including those that came after a guilty plea — cannot be expunged. If you were convicted of drunk driving, you have no legal options available to remove those records. A conviction is a permanent record. While a DUI arrest record can potentially be expunged, that is only possible if no charges were ever filed, if the DUI charges were subsequently dismissed, or if the defendant was acquitted of the offense.
- Ten Years Have Passed: In the majority of cases, defendants cannot take immediate action to get their records expunged. You will be required to wait a certain amount of time before you will become eligible. In reference to a DUI case, you must wait at least ten years before you can take action to get your records expunged.
- You Kept Your Record Clean: Finally, to be eligible to get your DUI arrest expunged, you must also have kept your criminal record clean in the years following your arrest. If additional criminal charges were filed against you after your drunk driving arrest, you may not be able to get your DUI records expunged. If you have questions about your specific eligibility to get an expungement, an attorney can help.
The Bottom Line: Colorado’s expungement rules regarding DUI convictions are harsh. Any drunk driving conviction will generate permanent criminal records. The best way to keep that DUI off of your record is to avoid the need for an expungement in the first place.
How to Avoid a DUI Conviction
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in Colorado, you still have legal options available. Do not resign yourself to pleading guilty and dealing with the consequences of a conviction without first speaking to an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. Every defendant deserves a professional, fully personalized legal defense. How exactly you should defend a DUI charge depends entirely on the specific nature of the case. Your Denver DUI defense lawyer will be able to:
- Review the circumstances of your arrest;
- Conduct an investigation of your case;
- Explain your legal options to you;
- Identify all applicable legal defenses; and
- Aggressively advocate for your rights.
With DUI charges, immediate action is a must. The sooner you consult with a professional defense attorney, they more likely it is that you will achieve desirable results — this could possibly include avoiding a DUI conviction and keeping yourself eligible for a full expungement of your arrest records in the future.
Contact Our Denver DUI Defense Lawyer Today
At Miller Leonard PC, our law firm is committed to fighting for the legal rights of defendants in Colorado. Miller Leonard has nearly 20 years of experience working as a prosecutor and defense attorney. He has a comprehensive understanding of all sides of the criminal justice system. If you were arrested and charged with a DUI, you need a skilled attorney by your side. To schedule a free, fully private review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact us today.