As of August 10, 2016, Colorado criminal defendants who have had their cases completely dismissed can go through a quick, streamlined, and simple process to seal their criminal records pursuant to CRS 24-72-702.5. Dismissals under this statute relate to not only outright dismissals but also acquittals (not guilty at trial), a successfully completed deferred judgment, and a successfully completed diversion. Cases that were dismissed prior to August 10, 2016 are not eligible for the streamlined process. Cases that were dismissed prior to August 10, 2016 and are otherwise eligible for a record seal may be sealed under the standard record sealing process pursuant to CRS 24-72-702.
Juvenile records which qualify for an expungement are not eligible for the streamlined record sealing process referenced above. Juvenile records, if eligible, may be expunged pursuant to CRS 19-1-306. In Colorado, record “sealing” relates to adult criminal records, whereas “expungement” relates to juvenile records.
The simplified process permits a Colorado criminal defendant to make an oral motion in court to have their records sealed or subsequent to the dismissal by filing a later written motion with the Court. Under this simplified process, the Court shall grant the request. This saves the defendant from filing a separate civil action and paying the much higher fee to seal the records. It also saves the Colorado criminal defendant from the burden of showing that his interest in sealing the records outweighs the public’s interest. Plus, under this simplified process, the Court does much of the work for the defendant and provides a copy of the Order to Seal to each entity who may have records related to the dismissed action. The defendant may also provide the Order to Seal to additional entities under the Order.
There is a record sealing fee of $65 related to this simplified process (versus $224 under the standard process).
Attorney Robbins is experienced in handling record sealing petitions and expungements throughout the Colorado court system. For a free case evaluation contact Attorney Robbins at 303-355-5148 or 970-301-5541.