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How can I expunge a failure to appear charge?

Colorado Springs, CO |

About 12 years ago, I received a failure to appear warrant due to a failure to provide car insurance ticket in Colorado. I paid all fines, but now it is excluding me from participating in internships required for graduate school that require a background check. Can I expunge this from my record, or is there any other viable option to prevent it from marring any future criminal background checks? Thank you for any advice.

Attorney Answers 2


Generally I agree that you should meet with an attorney to clarify a few specific matters here. Did you get a conviction in the underlying case on the insurance (or any other matter, at that time). What if anything did you plead to? Fines, etc. indicates you had a guilty verdict or plea somewhere in the process.

It makes a difference as to whether the case in which the warrant was issued resulted in a conviction, or a dismissal. Both can be sealed, but the conviction is more difficult. There are more hoops to jump through. The procedure for sealing of conviction records can be found at section 24-72-308.5 Colorado Revised Statutes. Generally speaking, it appears you qualify: more than ten years without further convictions is the largest qualifier. You need to get the DA's permission on a conviction and you need to pay a sizable collection of fees and costs, but it can all be done. Let me know if I can be of any help here.

Good luck in your efforts at grad school.

Jim Reed

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A failure to appear is not a charge. It is a judge issuing a bench warrant for failing to appear in a case. If the case was dismissed or expunged initially, then you should the failure to appear off your record as well (as it is attached to the case in which you were originally charged). If it is not currently dismissed or expunged, then you should be able to get the entire case sealed or expunged.

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