Colorado Revised Statutes Title 24 Government State § 24-72-702 Sealing of arrest and criminal records other than convictions

(1)(a)(I) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraphs (II) and (III) of this paragraph (a), any person in interest may petition the district court of the district in which any arrest and criminal records information pertaining to the person in interest is located for the sealing of all of the records, except basic identification information, if the records are a record of official actions involving a criminal offense for which the person in interest completed a diversion agreement pursuant to section 18-1.3-101, C.R.S ., or was not charged and the statute of limitations for the offense for which the person was arrested that has the longest statute of limitations has run, or was not charged and the statute of limitations has not run but the person is no longer being investigated by law enforcement for commission of the offense, or in any case which was completely dismissed, or in any case in which the person in interest was acquitted.

(II) Except as provided in subsection (1)(a)(III) of this section, arrest or criminal records information may not be sealed if:

(A) An offense is not charged due to a plea agreement in a separate case;

(B) A dismissal occurs as part of a plea agreement in a separate case in which a judgment of conviction has been entered;  or

(C) The defendant still owes restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, or other fees ordered by the court in the case that is the subject of the petition to seal criminal records, unless the court that entered the order for restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, or other fees has vacated the order.

(III) A person in interest may petition the district court of the district in which any arrest and criminal records information pertaining to the person in interest is located for the sealing of all of said records, except basic identification information, if the records are records of official actions involving a case that was dismissed due to a plea agreement in a separate case, and if:

(A) The petition is filed ten years or more after the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against the person in interest;  and

(B) The person in interest has not been charged for a criminal offense in the ten years since the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against the person in interest.

(b)(I) Any petition to seal criminal records shall include a listing of each custodian of the records to whom the sealing order is directed and any information that accurately and completely identifies the records to be sealed.

(II)(A) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall review the petition and determine whether the petition is sufficient on its face.  If the court determines that the petition on its face is insufficient or if the court determines that, after taking judicial notice of matters outside the petition, the petitioner is not entitled to relief under this section, the court shall enter an order denying the petition and mail a copy of the order to the petitioner, or as permitted serve the order under supreme court rules.  The court's order shall specify the reasons for the denial of the petition.  If the petition pertains to a dismissal that is not the result of a completion of a deferred judgment and sentence or a multi-case disposition, the court shall order a record sealed if the petition is sufficient on its face.

(B) If the court determines that the petition is sufficient on its face and that no other grounds exist at that time for the court to deny the petition under this section, the court shall set a date for a hearing, and the petitioner shall notify the prosecuting attorney by certified mail, the arresting agency, and any other person or agency identified by the petitioner.  Except as provided for in section 18-1.3-101(10)(c), C.R.S ., after the hearing described in this sub-subparagraph (B) is conducted and if the court finds that the harm to the privacy of the petitioner or dangers of unwarranted adverse consequences to the petitioner outweigh the public interest in retaining the records, the court may order such records, except basic identification information, to be sealed.

(c) Any order entered pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (1) must be directed to every custodian who may have custody of any part of the arrest and criminal records information that is the subject of the order.  Whenever a court enters an order sealing criminal records pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), the petitioner shall provide the Colorado bureau of investigation and every custodian of such records with a copy of the order.  The petitioner shall provide a private custodian with a copy of the order and send the private custodian an electronic notification of the order.  Each private custodian that receives a copy of the order from the petitioner shall remove the records that are subject to an order from its database.  Thereafter, the court may issue an order sealing the civil case in which the records were sealed.

(d) Upon the entry of an order to seal the records, the petitioner and all criminal justice agencies may properly reply, upon any inquiry in the matter, that no such records exist with respect to the person.

(e) Inspection of the records included in an order sealing criminal records may thereafter be permitted by the court only upon petition by the person who is the subject of the records or by the prosecuting attorney and only for those purposes named in the petition.

(f)(I) Employers, educational institutions, state and local government agencies, officials, and employees shall not, in any application or interview or in any other way, require an applicant to disclose any information contained in sealed records.  An applicant need not, in answer to any question concerning arrest and criminal records information that has been sealed, include a reference to or information concerning the sealed information and may state that no such action has ever occurred.  Such an application may not be denied solely because of the applicant's refusal to disclose arrest and criminal records information that has been sealed.

(II) Subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (f) does not preclude the bar committee of the Colorado state board of law examiners from making further inquiries into the fact of a conviction that comes to the attention of the bar committee through other means.  The bar committee of the Colorado state board of law examiners has a right to inquire into the moral and ethical qualifications of an applicant, and the applicant has no right to privacy or privilege that justifies his or her refusal to answer to any question concerning arrest and criminal records information that has come to the attention of the bar committee through other means.

(III) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (f), the department of education may require a licensed educator or an applicant for an educator's license who files a petition to seal a criminal record to notify the department of education of the pending petition to seal.  The department of education has the right to inquire into the facts of the criminal offense for which the petition to seal is pending.  The educator or applicant has no right to privacy or privilege that justifies his or her refusal to answer any questions of the department of education concerning the arrest and criminal records information contained in the pending petition to seal.

(f.5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1)(e) and (1)(f) of this section, the prosecuting attorney or the law enforcement agency may release to the victim in the sealed case copies of police reports or any protection orders issued in the sealed case if the victim demonstrates to the prosecuting attorney or law enforcement agency a need for the reports or court orders for a lawful purpose.  The prosecuting attorney, including staff of the prosecuting attorney's office or a victim or witness assistance program, or the staff of a law enforcement agency or law enforcement victim assistance program, may discuss the sealed case, the results of the sealing proceedings, and information related to any victim services available to the victim.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the physical destruction of any criminal justice records.

(2) For the purpose of protecting the author of any correspondence that becomes a part of criminal justice records, the court having jurisdiction in the judicial district in which the criminal justice records are located may, in its discretion, with or without a hearing thereon, enter an order to seal any information, including but not limited to basic identification information contained in the correspondence.  However, the court may, in its discretion, enter an order that allows the disclosure of sealed information to defense counsel or, if the defendant is not represented by counsel, to the defendant.

(3) Advisements.  (a) Whenever a defendant has appeared before the court and has charges against him or her dismissed or not filed, or whenever the defendant is acquitted, the court shall provide him or her with a written advisement of his or her rights pursuant to this section concerning the sealing of his or her criminal justice records if he or she complies with the applicable provisions of this section.

(b) In addition to, and not in lieu of, the requirement described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3):

(I) If a defendant's case is dismissed after a period of supervision by probation, the probation department, upon the termination of the defendant's probation, shall provide the defendant with a written advisement of his or her rights pursuant to this section concerning the sealing of his or her criminal justice records if he or she complies with the applicable provisions of this section;  or

(II) If a defendant is released on parole, the defendant's parole officer, upon the termination of the defendant's parole, shall provide the defendant with a written advisement of his or her rights concerning the sealing of his or her criminal justice records pursuant to this section if he or she complies with the applicable provisions of this section.

(4) Exceptions.  (a) This section does not apply to records pertaining to cases when the only charges were as follows:

(I) A class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense;

(II) A class A or class B traffic infraction.

(b) Court orders sealing records of official actions entered pursuant to this section do not limit the operation of rules of discovery promulgated by the supreme court of Colorado.

(c) This section shall not apply to records pertaining to a deferred judgment and sentence for an offense for which the factual basis involved unlawful sexual behavior, as defined in section 16-22-102(9), C.R.S .

(d) This section shall not apply to records pertaining to a deferred judgment and sentence of section 42-4-1301(1) or (2), C.R.S .

(e) This section shall not apply to arrest and criminal justice information or criminal justice records in the possession and custody of a criminal justice agency when inquiry concerning the arrest and criminal justice information or criminal justice records is made by another criminal justice agency.

(f) This section shall not apply to records pertaining to a deferred judgment and sentence for an offense concerning the holder of a commercial driver's license as defined in section 42-2-402, C.R.S ., or the operator of a commercial motor vehicle as defined in section 42-2-402, C.R.S .

(g) If a person who seeks to have his or her arrest records sealed for charges that are not covered by paragraph (a) of this subsection (4), the fact that the person was charged for a crime covered in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4) as a part of the same arrest does not prohibit a court from sealing the arrest records related to the charges that are not covered in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4).

(5) A person may file a petition with the court for sealing of each case once every twelve-month period.


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