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Sealing Your Record

What You Need to Know

The right to have your criminal records sealed has been expanding in Colorado over the last decade. Getting a record sealed is very important and can substantially help you with both housing and employment.

When records are sealed in Colorado, they are no longer available to be seen by the public, including potential employers and landlords. The records are still available to law enforcement and may be available to the court if you are later accused of another offense.

How Does Sealing Your Record Work?

If you are acquitted or your case is dismissed, your case and record of arrest can be sealed immediately.

Convictions for most petty offenses, misdemeanors and class 4, 5 and 6 non-violent, non-sex offense felonies are eligible to be sealed. Traffic offenses, including DUIs, are not eligible to be sealed. For sealable criminal conviction, there is a waiting period. The waiting period depends on the classification of the crime. You cannot have been arrested or convicted of any other offense during the waiting period.

Records of conviction are sealed through filing a petition or, in some circumstances, automatically after passage of a designated time. Generally, the waiting period is shorter through filing a petition. For example, a petition for sealing of a class 4, 5 or 6 felony or a level 3 or 4 drug felony can be filed three years after you are done with the sentence conditions. Those same offenses will be automatically sealed without the filing of a petition seven years after the date of final disposition.

Filing a Petition to Seal Your Record

The Colorado Public Defender statute prevents public defenders from filing sealing petitions. Forms for filing the petition to seal can be found at the Colorado Judicial Department website under the self-help tab. Instructions on how to file are included on the website. It generally costs $65 to have a conviction record sealed. Arrests or court cases with no conviction are automatically sealed with no fee.

You can also visit the Self Help Center at your local court house and they can help you.

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