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DWAI conviction, traffic or criminal offense?

Denver, CO |

I have an assault on my record that is 4 years old. After 5 years I can petition to have the record sealed as long as I have no other CRIMINAL convictions since.

In March of this year I was charged with a DUI that was dropped down to a DWAI. People are telling me this is a traffic misdemeanor and not a criminal conviction. I am on probation for the DWAI. Will I still be able to petition to have my assault conviction sealed next June?

Please say yes!

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Unfortunately the answer to both of your questions is no. All misdemeanors convictions are criminal convictions and you cannot seal a permanent conviction.

    DISCLAIMER: This above communication is for general informational purposes only. It does NOT constitute legal advice and SHOULD NOT be used or relied upon as such. Moreover, the above communication does not create an attorney-client relationship between Boal Law Firm and/or Attorney Brian Boal and any other person or entity. Legal representation by Boal Law Firm and/or Attorney Brian Boal is available but shall be set forth specifically in a separate written fee agreement signed by the parties.


  2. I'm sorry to say that the answers are both no. A conviction cannot be sealed. DWAI is a criminal conviction. I'm not sure who you're getting your advice from but you should consult with a lawyer instead. "People" often don't know the intricacies of the law no matter how much Law & Order or CSI they watch.


  3. Based on your response to others, I am assuming that your assault conviction was a municipal court conviction and not a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Municipal court conviction, pursuant to Section 10 of SB 13-123, which was signed by the Governor on May 24, 2013. You can file an action requesting the sealing of a Municipal Court Conviction as early as three years after the conclusion of the court case or three years after release from supervision, whichever occurs later. However, according to the Act, those records may not be sealed if you have "been charged or convicted for a felony, misdemeanor, or misdemeanor traffic offense in the three or more years since the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against [you] or the date of [your] release from supervision, whichever is later."

    So, it does not matter if DWAI is considered a "misdemeanor" or a "traffic misdemeanor." Either one prevents the court from sealing the old record. I do not know who is telling you that a traffic misdemeanor is not a criminal conviction, but they are wrong. Misdemeanors, traffic or otherwise, are criminal convictions, as are felonies and petty offenses. The difference in the categories is the seriousness of the criminal offense.

    www.karlgeil.com. This answer is provided as general information about a legal issue, is not legal advice specific to a particular case, and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the person asking the question.

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