n Colorado, a person can only petition to seal their criminal record under certain specific and limited circumstances.
In order to be eligible to petition to seal your criminal record your case must meet one of three specific criteria:
- You were arrested but never formally charged; or
- All charges against you were ultimately dismissed; or
- You were acquitted of all charges at a trial.
The sealing process is a civil process that is separate and distinct from the underlying criminal proceeding.
A person interested in sealing their criminal record must first petition the District Court in the judicial district where the criminal case originally arose. After a petition is filed, the court will set a hearing on the petition to seal and notice is then given to all interested parties, generally consisting of the district attorney’s office, the arresting agency and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, in order to determine if any interested party objects to the petition to seal. If an interested party objects to the petition to seal, the court will conduct an evidentiary hearing and determine if the privacy rights of the individual outweighs the public’s need to have permanent access to the information. Generally, if there are no objections, the court will make a determination on the petition without a hearing. However, certain jurisdictions require an appearance at a hearing regardless if objections are filed or not.
It is important to note that even when the court grants your petition to seal, law enforcement and other certain limited agencies will always have access to your records.
Attorney Jayme Moss is skilled in the intricacies involved in petitioning the court and contacting the relevant agencies in order to ensure that a person’s criminal record and arrest history are properly sealed. The sealing process can take several months so if you have a case that is eligible for sealing, you should contact us immediately so that you can get started on the process.