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in Colorado Criminal Arrest and Conviction Records are easily obtained. The availability of these records has caused massive problems to individuals desperate to obtain employment, obtain a slot in a university or college or vocational school, or otherwise advance their career.
Many private background checking companies play fast and loose in disclosing information from criminal records. They often disclose inaccurate and unreliable criminal records even to the extent of disclosing criminal records that have been sealed or expunged. At present these companies are permitted to reveal a sealed or expunged record even if they know it is sealed and – or expunged!
Technological advances in the ability to obtain criminal records has exceeded the pace of public agencies in keeping the records accurate.
Employers and landlords seeking access to criminal history information about applicants for jobs and housing, have turned to private screening companies to find and provide this information quickly.
In Colorado – criminal history information – including arrest records of cases that did not result in a conviction — are freely available on the internet to members of the public.
Such sites as www.cocourts.com and others will – for a small fee – search for someone’s name – but – here’s the thing – they are NOT guarantors of the information they provide online.
The problem is this – numerous federal and state laws bar people with a criminal record from working in areas with some security connection – these include transportation, working with vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly, and other essential employment opportunities.
These employers do not care – nor are they interested in the nature of the case — the charge is enough for them – no tmatter how long ago the case occurred, the circumstances surrounding the case – or what these individuals have done with their lives since the case occurred.
The devastating effect on individuals who have worked hard to put their past behind them cannot be understated. Massive problems arising out of the inaccuracy and misidentification of these records have made life miserable for people who may in fact have no record at all. In Colorado and most other states – a routine background check brings up ALL criminal records – even those that did not result in conviction (including arrest records that resulted in no charges, charges that were dismissed, acquittals/reversals, and deferred adjudication or probation before judgment).
Employers are taking arrests – not just convictions – nto account in employment decisions.
There is a trend that views the stigma of ..even just an arrest – with no conviction that follows the innocent throughout their lives.
The reliability and accuracy of criminal records that are based on poor record keeping leading to inaccurate and incomplete reporting, and mistaken identity and false positives – has wreaked havoc on many of my client’s lives. Often similar spelled names and identity theft compound these record inaccuracies and greatly increase the difficulty of trying to correct. Furthermore “unrefined” criminal record information – poor data entry – can also be difficult to read and misleading to lay readers including the courts themselves.
The ABA – has taken the position – (and I am in agreement) – that: …
” states should take steps to ensure that only law enforcement agencies have access to records of closed cases that did not result in a conviction, including arrest records that resulted in no charges, charges that were dismissed, acquittals/reversals, and deferred adjudication or probation before judgment.
…In setting up their records systems, therefore, jurisdictions should automatically limit public inspection of all records of closed cases that did not result in a conviction, including cases where charges were dismissed or set aside after successful completion of a period of probation, pursuant to a deferred adjudication or deferred sentencing scheme. “
The ABA has also urged states “to establish standards for and monitor the activities of private screening companies that are in the business of conducting criminal background checks for employment and other purposes, and to establish appropriate controls for accuracy and reliability of records.”
Colorado law provides that the judicial sealing of a criminal record restores the recipient to the legal status he or she enjoyed prior to conviction. This permits the individual who obtains an order sealing their record in Colorado the RIGHT TO DENY THAT THEY WERE EVER ARRESTED – CHARGED – AND IN SOME CASES – CONVICTED – DRUG CONVICTIONS ONLY (HERE IS A LINK TO SEALING DRUG CONVICTIONS) , including when asked to report prior convictions on an employment application.
Colorado – howeve IT SHOULD BE NOTES r – does NOT destroy the records – it only hides them from public view.
If the information in your criminal history is inaccurate – contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Identification Unit at 303-239-4208. You should also contact the arresting agency. The arresting agency will provide CBI with written documentation of any corrections.
Please call our law firm if you have questions about
H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years (as of 2012). For the First 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.
In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations. Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2277
If you have questions about Colorado Criminal Arrest and Conviction Records in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and to provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters…as regards Colorado Criminal Arrest and Conviction Records.