The public arrest record can effect my future. Can I ask is to be sealed? How hard is it to do? How long does the process take? Can I as an individual do the filing and hearings?
First, if you are worried about your record for employment purposes, you might want to consult an employment attorney to advise you on how an employer might be able to access your records or not.
Second, why the case was dismissed may affect how the case appears on your record.
If you are seriously concerned then you need to hire an attorney to look into expungement.
Once the case is dismissed you can file for your case to be sealed. This is a separate civil action with the court. You must show the court that the harm to you is greater than that of society to know about your arrest. The process is not difficult it just takes time to complete all of the required forms and proper notifications. I would consult an attorney to help you with the process.
If the case was completely dismissed, without a plea to a lesser charge, you certainly can, and probably without a hearing. If you are detail-oriented, you may be able to figure it out yourself. There are online instructions, at the Colorado courts website, and forms are all on the website.
If you miss a detail (which lawyers are paid not to do, but frequently do anyway), you will not be able to file again for a year. If you fail to notify the necessary agencies, the record may still exist in their databases.
It's nice to hear of cases being dismissed. Congratulations!
Sealing of arrest records and criminal records is a tedious task to say the least. It's a very detailed oriented process requiring the filing of a petition to seal the records in the district court of the county where the arrest took place. Unless there is a compelling reason that the community needs to know of your arrest, typically the cases are sealed without argument by the District Attorney office. However, if the DIstrict Attorney does contest it, you will be required to have a hearing and prove to the court why it should be sealed.
The key, also, is making sure that the organizations reporting on criminal violations and arrests have notice and an opportunity to contest the record sealing. Once the court enters the order sealing the records, you then have to serve a copy of the order on, once again, all the organizations that can report such information.
The Colorado Courts web page has a self help section that provides all the information you need to seal your records. However, because of the details involved, it's best to contact a lawyer who has experience in sealing records, so you don't make any mistakes.
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