H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.

Articles Posted in Colorado Sealing Expungement Law

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In 2013 – The Colorado State legislature enacted a long awaited law that has the potential to change the lives of tens of thousands of citizens around the country.

The new law – expands Colorado’s present expungement – record sealing laws, to now allow petty offenses and municipal ordinance violations to be sealed after three years have run since last contact with the criminal justice system and with a clean record since that time

Here is a LINK to this very complex new law – SB 123 –

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While state legislators in Colorado may change this law sometime in the future – the present state of the law does not permit the expungement of juvenile sex crime record if the juvenile has been adjudicated (convicted) of a Colorado sex crime – even a misdemeanor.

When making the decision to go to trial or accept an alternative plea agreement – juveniles and their parents must be made aware of the inability to hide or to expunge or to otherwise keep this conviction from the possibility of a background check uncovering the conviction.

The impact of a sex crime on a juvenile’s future employment cannot be overstated. This adjudication can cause problems in future education, employment – even renting property. With the thoroughness of the comprehensive background checks now being performed – these crimes can be located much more easily.

The requirement of registration as a sex offender must also be considered – however – here this requirement can be removed after probation has been completed – not so if there is an adjudication.
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In the recent juvenile case of F.M. v. The People of the State of Colorado, the COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS upheld a Colorado Adams County District Court Judge’s decision to deny F.M.’s Petition to Seal DESPITE A NOT GUILTY VERDICT

These are the Undisputed Facts in the Case

In the underlying criminal case, F.M. was charged with four counts of felony menacing after he mailed an envelope to his supervisor containing flour. When it spilled out, a coworker called the police, who summoned a hazmat team. F.M. was acquitted.

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A New Law Signed by the Colorado Governor in June of this year — mandates certain conditions of bond be expanded to cover a number of new crimes. Previously, these conditions of bond were applied primarily in Colorado Domestic Violation Cases — the New Law expands the use of these conditions to the crimes listed below.. It is worth noting the importance of this new law as greatly increasing the costs of and difficulty in complying with a pending – UNPROVEN – Colorado criminal case.

Here is a Summary of the new Law / Legislation

The bill expands to all crimes subject to the Victims’ Rights Act the courts’ discretion to add the following restrictions, currently only available in domestic violence cases, to mandatory protection orders issued to defendants at the time of arraignment or first court appearance:

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I receive, sometimes on a weekly basis, calls from individuals whose criminal cases have been dismissed as a result of either plea bargaining, tactical courtroom work, pre-filing negotiation or other representation, or acquittals after trial, … but whose criminal histories – on the national data base know as the NCIC System, … fail to reflect the dismissal.

These individuals are often denied employment, housing, financial assistance and many other opportunities to succeed in their lives and find themselves in the untenable situation of trying to explain why the entry on their “rap sheet” is incorrect.

In 2010, in a move to correct for these kinds of errors, Congress introduced a Bill that would have required the FBI to fill in gaps in criminal records database.