Colorado: Expunge Or Seal Your Criminal Records in Colorado

In this section, the process of expungement in Colorado is explained in detail. In addition to this, any exceptions where expungement of criminal records is not possible have also been discussed.

Expungement Process

In Colorado, both record sealing and expungement are used. In expungement, any records related to the crime carried out by a person or a crime that a person has been convicted for in the past is completely destroyed. This means that there is absolutely no evidence that the crime was even carried out in the first place, thus no one can prove that the individual was ever charged guilty for any crime.

Record sealing is slightly different than expungement. In record sealing, as the term implies, the individual’s criminal records are sealed. This means that these criminal records are not available for public viewing. However, a certain individual or agency can view them if the court issues an order to this regard. This means that the person’s criminal records are not destroyed and they still exist. They may be unsealed by the court on the issuance of a certain order, but this is only done if there is good reason to do so. Please refer to the section on Exceptions to find out where expungement is possible and where only record sealing is an option.

In order to apply for expungement or record sealing, you will need to provide the court with details about your arrest, the case made against you as well as any related report numbers. If an individual’s case has been dismissed as the result of a plea agreement made in a different case, then that case number also has to be cited. If a person does not remember these numbers or have access to them, then the police department that arrested the individual, or the municipal, county or district court that dealt with the individual’s case can be contacted.

Once all the information has been collected, an individual must file a number of forms to the court that ruled his or her arrest (you can visit for more information). All forms are available online on the website of the Colorado State Judicial Branch. One of the forms is a Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records, which contains the case numbers along with any charges. A court or notary clerk has to be a witness to the individual’s signatures on this particular form.

A document mainly for court use is known as the Order Denying Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records. If a court decides to deny an individual’s records to have his or her records sealed, then this form is issued. However, one needs to fill out the uppermost portion of this form when filing a petition.

Another form that is also mainly intended for court use is the Order to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records. However, a small part of this document has to be filled out by the petitioner himself or herself, such as the case numbers that have been cited by the individual in the petition.

The Order and Notice of Hearing is another form that is usually sent to every agency that is involved in the individual’s case. The purpose of this form is to inform the involved agencies that the court has scheduled a hearing in order to review the individual’s request to have his or her records sealed. In some cases, the court may also ask the individual to send out these forms himself.

These forms also have to be filled out by people who are filing for the expungement of their juvenile records or any drug offenses. During the hearing, one must be prepared to answer the questions of the judge. If the judge decides to agree to your request of expungement or record sealing, then it is your responsibility to send a signed order to every involved agency.


In the section on the Expungement Process in Colorado, it was mentioned that there is a difference between expungement and record sealing and, unlike some States, both are carried out in Colorado. In certain cases, expungement is not possible and an individual can only petition to the court to have his or her records sealed. If a person has a juvenile criminal record, then he or she can apply to the court to have his or her criminal records expunged and if the judge agrees that this will serve justice to the said individual, then the juvenile record will be accordingly expunged. However, if a person had been convicted of a certain crime or arrested for some reason when he or she was an adult, then he or she does not have the option of filing for expungement. Such an individual only has the option available of getting his or her records sealed.

Although juvenile records can be expunged, there are certain other conditions that the person must also meet and adhere to. Firstly, the person has to be acquitted of that particular charge that has to be expunged. Secondly, the person has to enroll and attend a juvenile diversion program. Thirdly, it is imperative for the person to stay away from any kind of illegal activities or trouble in the future. If these conditions are not met, then even a juvenile record cannot be expunged. For example, if an individual has a juvenile record of very violent or aggravated criminal activities, then his or her record cannot be expunged.

As an adult, you will only have the option available of having your records sealed. However, this can only be done if the person is not convicted. This means that if a certain charge has been dismissed or if a charge was never properly filed, then you may apply for having your records sealed. If an individual’s case has been dismissed because of a plea agreement, then he or she will have to wait for a minimum of ten years before he or she can apply for record sealing. Furthermore, if a person has been convicted of holding any kind of controlled substance, then it is possible to apply for record sealing after around ten years. There are certain charges that cannot be sealed at all, such as charges for driving under the influence.

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