EXPUNGEMENT OF JUVENILE RECORDS
Expungement is a term that people will use to describe any action to seal records. However, expungement is a process specific to juvenile delinquency cases. The law favors expungment of juvenile records since they are pseudo-criminal prosecutions and the goal of the Colorado Children’s Code is rehabilitation. There has been some very recent and positive changes to the law allowing individuals to petition for expungement of juvenile records sooner than had been previously allowed. When the Court grants a petition to expunge juvenile records, a person can legally reply to any inquires that they do not have a juvenile record. In addition, the expunged records are only accessible pursuant to a court order. The new rules concerning expungement of juvenile records are as follows:
- The Petitioner cannot have been convicted or adjudicated a delinquent for a charge involving domestic violence, unlawful sexual behavior, or illegal possession of a weapon after the end of the court’s jurisdiction and the filling of the petition.
- No action for a felony, misdemeanor or juvenile delinquency charge can be currently pending against a petitioner.
- The rehabilitation of the Petitioner must be proven to the satisfaction of the Court.
- The Court must make a finding that the expungement of the delinquency records is in the petitioner’s and the community’s best interest.
- A person can file a petition to expunge juvenile delinquency records immediately under the following circumstances:
a. The child was found not guilty at an adjudicatory trial of all charges.
b. The prosecution dismissed all charges against the child.
c. The child successfully completed an informal adjustment, a juvenile diversion program, or a deferred adjudication.
- A person can file a petition to expunge juvenile delinquency records one year after the end of the Court’s jurisdiction under the following circumstances:
a. A child was contacted by law enforcement, and that contact that did not result in a referral to another agency.
b. The child was adjudicated and the petitioner successfully completed probation.
- A person can file a petition to expunge juvenile delinquency records three years after the Court’s jurisdiction under the following circumstances:
a. A child was sentenced to the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.
b. The child was discharged from parole supervision.
- A person can file a petition to expunge juvenile delinquency records five years after the Court’s jurisdiction under the following circumstances:
a. The child was adjudicated a repeat or mandatory juvenile offender.
b. The child was unconditionally released from probation or parole.
c. The person has not subsequently violated any criminal statute.
- The following people are not eligible to expunge their juvenile record under any circumstances:
a. The child was adjudicated as an aggravated juvenile offender or a violent juvenile offender.
b. The child was prosecuted as an adult pursuant to a direct file in District Court.
c. The child was adjudicated for an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior.
d. Any person who has failed to pay court ordered restitution to the victim of a juvenile delinquency action.