Can You Get a DUI Expunged in Colorado?

A Colorado DUI case may not seem like a very serious matter to an individual that faces a DUI charge. The fact is, Colorado has strict DUI laws, which likely leads to people wondering if they can get their DUI case or DUI conviction expunged from their record. It is important to understand what expungement is, and the Colorado DUI laws for both juveniles and adults. This will provide answers to questions about expungement, and help you understand the importance of hiring a criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI defense.

What is Expungement?  

Expungement is the legal process of clearing a person’s record of a case or conviction for charges such as domestic violence or a DUI. When an individual succeeds in their effort to have records expunged, this information no longer appear on the individual’s traffic or criminal record. 

Expungements are not granted to many individuals, which may lead people in Colorado to wonder if they can get an expungement of their Colorado DUI. A Colorado law firm with expertise in criminal defense of DUI cases including marijuana DUI cases and an excellent client attorney relationship can help you explore the case or efforts to have your record expunged of the DUI charges or conviction. 

How Do You Get a DUI Off Your Record in the State of Colorado? 

There is good news and bad news for individuals that are seeking to have a DUI expunged in Colorado. The Colorado law that governs whether you can possibly succeed in your efforts to have your DUI arrest expunged depends on whether you were an adult or a juvenile at the time of your DUI arrest.  

It is important to point out that if a potential employer, landlord, or any other company performs a criminal records check, that record will still appear if the expungement issue is still before the courts, either because it has not yet been heard, or the judge has not yet made a decision. 

Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-1301 makes it a crime to drink and drive, both as a juvenile and as an adult. The various sections of the statutes related to Colorado DUI law, procedures for arrest, alcohol testing, the level of charges, and penalties demonstrate the seriousness of a DUI. Anyone charged under this section likely wants to seek legal advice from a lawyer that specializes in aggressive criminal defense of DUI cases and that develops a positive attorney client relationship with every client. 

Did you plead guilty, or were you found guilty of a DUI in Colorado? There is not a way to get the charge or the conviction expunged with a guilty verdict on the record. The opportunity for adults to get a DUI expunged in Colorado in this situation is next to none, even if there is a deferred judgement. If your case was dismissed, the fact that it was dismissed will appear on your record, but so will the filing of the original DUI charge or charges. The one rare event in which a court may expunge a DUI case is in the case of mistaken identity. 

Juveniles that were charged or convicted of underage drinking and driving (UDD) under section 42-4-1301(2)(d) C.R.S. may get their DUI expunged if they are now at least 21 years of age, and they have completed all of the terms of their original sentence, and have no other underage drinking and driving convictions. The person filing to have their record expunged must not have been driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense, and must not have ever held a commercial driver’s license. 

There have been cases where the courts upheld the strict laws regarding expungement. One individual appealed a decision by the trial court that denied the petitioner her request to seal and expunge records related to her DUI conviction. The appeals court agreed with the trial court that denied the petitioner’s request, citing in the case ‘in re Petition of Harte’ that she was “statutorily ineligible” for the sealing of the records.   

Meeting with a highly qualified criminal defense attorney is the first step to learning whether you are able to get your Colorado DUI expunged, and to start the process. Your attorney will prepare and file a motion with the court that heard the original case. The attorney also appears in court when appearances are required during the expungement case. 

Avoid DUI and Avoid the Need for Expungement 

Colorado code section 42-4-1301 (1) (a) Driving under the influence - driving while impaired - driving with excessive alcoholic content - definitions – penalties explains: 

“A person who drives a motor vehicle or vehicle under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, commits driving under the influence.” 

The statute further indicates that although the offense is a misdemeanor, it “is a class 4 felony if the violation occurred after three or more prior convictions, arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, for DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI” or in cases of vehicular homicide or of vehicular assault. 

Colorado does allow defendants to present their case when charged with a DUI or a charge of driving while ability impaired (DWAI). The court also allows defendants to contest the results of any BAC or other tests, with the statutes explaining, “In any prosecution for the offense of DUI per se, the defendant shall be entitled to offer direct and circumstantial evidence to show that there is a disparity between what any tests show and other facts so that the trier of fact could infer that the tests were in some way defective or inaccurate.” 

Do you know how to successfully defend your case in Colorado court? Do you have the knowledge and experience to know what evidence may help your case and how to successfully present it, and how to best provide a DUI defense? Most individuals would answer “no” to these questions. 

The best way to avoid having to fight to have your DUI case, or any other criminal charges dismissed or expunged, and to protect your driving privileges, is to not commit the offenses in the first place. However, if you are arrested or charged with a DUI, you need a defense attorney that knows how to determine the best defense options, and to protect your rights.  

Hire an Attorney to Fight for You 

A first-time DUI conviction can result in fines and jail time, even for a misdemeanor conviction. Some people may spend several years in prison for DUI convictions. The fact that there are very limited possibilities for expungement of a DUI may leave you feeling frustrated, hopeless, and like there is nowhere to turn.  

Hiring an aggressive attorney with expertise in DUI laws and who knows how to best represent each client is likely your ideal option for the best possible outcome. Contact the Law Office Of Jill M. Jackson for a free consultation as soon as possible after your arrest, and discover the benefit of the attorney client relationship that will provide excellent assistance and guidance for your case. 


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