In Denver and other parts of Colorado, attorneys understand that most criminal matters involving juveniles are deemed to be delinquency proceedings, rather than criminal proceedings. An adult who is found guilty of criminal conduct in Denver or other areas of Colorado typically receives a judgment of conviction. A juvenile who is found culpable for what as an adult would be criminal conduct in Denver or any other part of Colorado is typically considered to be adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent.
Many Denver area and Colorado juvenile delinquency lawyers are familiar with the potential availability and the terms and conditions of requesting expungement of juvenile delinquency records for Denver residents and residents in other areas of Colorado who committed delinquent acts as minors within Denver or other area of the state of Colorado. Denver and Colorado adult criminal records, on a much more limited basis, may potentially be sealed, but Colorado juvenile delinquency lawyers understand that juveniles are often given the opportunity to have their juvenile delinquency records expunged.
Expungement of Denver and all Colorado juvenile delinquency records is effectuated by the Court conspicuously indicating on the face of the record, or at the beginning of the computerized file of the record, that the record has been designated by a Colorado Court as expunged. If expunged, basic identification information regarding the Denver juvenile or a juvenile residing in other areas of Colorado and a list of state and local agencies and officials having contact with the juvenile as they appear on the records, shall not be open to the public but shall be available to a district attorney, local law enforcement agency, and the department of human services; except that such information shall not be available to an agency of the military forces of the United States. However, any record that is ordered expunged shall be available to any judge and the probation department for use in any future juvenile or adult sentencing hearing regarding the person whose record was expunged.
Other than for the exceptions noted, juvenile delinquency records designated as expunged may only be inspected by order of the court, after a hearing and for good cause shown.
Denver and Colorado juvenile delinquency expungement petitions are generally initiated by the filing of a petition in the appropriate juvenile court requesting an order of expungement. Often a juvenile will have a Colorado juvenile delinquency attorney draft and file such documents on behalf of the juvenile.
Upon the filing of an expungement petition by a Denver-based or Colorado juvenile delinquency attorney, regarding a Denver area or any other area of Colorado juvenile delinquency matter, the court sets a hearing with the lawyer for the juvenile on the petition for the juvenile expungement and shall notify the appropriate prosecuting agency or official. The Court may order expungement of records if at the hearing the court finds that:
- The petitioner who is the subject of the hearing has not been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor, and has not been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent, since the termination of the court’s jurisdiction nor the petitioner’s unconditional release from supervision;
- No proceeding concerning a felony, misdemeanor, or delinquency action is pending or being instituted against the petitioner;
- The rehabilitation of the petitioner has been attained to the satisfaction of the court; and
- The expungement is in the best interests of the petitioner and the community. In certain situations there exists a designated waiting period prior to the juvenile having the right to file a petition in expungement. There can exist no waiting period, or the waiting period may be one year, four years, or, in certain circumstances, as long as ten years. A person is eligible to petition for an expungement order:
- Immediately upon a finding of not guilty at an adjudicatory trial;
- One year from:
- The date of a law enforcement contact that did not result in a referral to another agency;
- The completion of a juvenile diversion program or informal adjustment;
- Four years from the date of:
- The termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the petitioner;
- The petitioner’s unconditional release from commitment to the department of human services; or
- The petitioner’s unconditional release from parole supervision;
- Ten years from the date of the termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the juvenile or the juvenile’s unconditional release from parole supervision, whichever date is later, if the juvenile has been adjudicated a repeat or mandatory juvenile offender and if the juvenile has not further violated any criminal statute.
- Not every juvenile adjudicated as being a juvenile delinquent in Colorado is eligible for expungement of juvenile delinquency records. The following persons are not eligible to petition for the expungement of any juvenile record:
- Any person who has been adjudicated as an aggravated juvenile offender or a violent juvenile offender;
- Any person who has been adjudicated for an offense that would constitute a crime of violence under section 18-1.3-406, C.R.S., had the person been an adult at the time the offense was committed;
- Any person who, as a juvenile, has been charged by the direct filing of an information in the district court or by indictment pursuant to section 19-2-517, C.R.S.;
- Any person who has been adjudicated for an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior as defined in section 16-22-102 (9), C.R.S. Denver and Colorado juvenile delinquency attorneys understand how vital it is for juveniles, or former juveniles, to get good advice regarding the potential to seek expungement of Colorado juvenile delinquency records. It is best to seek the services of a lawyer who practices in the area of juvenile delinquency law in order to get current, dependable advice regarding the requirements and the nuances of Colorado law providing for the potential expungement of juvenile delinquency records.
Shortly after adjudication as a juvenile delinquent in Colorado, a juvenile and his parents should consider retaining a Colorado Juvenile lawyer to request an expungement of the record.
Legal Disclaimer – The information contained at this web site is not intended to be legal advice and all information regarding Colorado juvenile law is limited general content only. It is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. Information on this web site is not intended to cover all the issues, nuances or ramifications related to the topic discussed. This web site may not be updated routinely to reflect the most current state law.
Juveniles and their parents should consult an experienced Denver or Colorado juvenile delinquency attorney, as applicable, for advice regarding an individual situation.