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Expungement, like almost every other aspect of the law, is a legal area with numerous intricacies. Please contact an experienced attorney like the attorneys at Black & Graham LLC to help guide you through any challenges. Expungement literally means to destroy, eliminate or cross off as opposed to sealing which referred to placing a wax seal across the file so that it could not be opened without it being immediately apparent. In Colorado however, expungement is effectuated by either physically sealing the file or 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 as expunged. For all intents and purposes, it means there is in essence, no record for the case that was expunged. The records will still be available to a district attorney, local law enforcement agency, the department of human services, the state judicial department, and the victim (except that such information will not be available to an agency of the United States Military).

There is no filing fee for filing a petition to expunge records. To begin the process, the petitioner should simply file a petition to expunge records with the appropriate court (the Juvenile Court, in Denver, CO or the District Court) where the juvenile case was heard or filed. A petition to expunge criminal records can only be filed once every twelve month period.

Some petitioners to expunge the criminal records can file immediately upon being found not guilty at an adjudicatory trial, having an offense dismissed in its entirety as a result of non-prosecution by the District Attorney’s office successfully completing a juvenile diversion program, a deferred adjudication or an informal adjustment. Other petitioners seeking to expunge their records will be required to wait one year from termination of the court’s jurisdiction after successful completion of probation or one year from any law enforcement contact that did not result in a referral to another agency. If petitioner was sentenced to the Department of Human Services or to Department of Youth Corrections, then petitioner must wait three years from their unconditional release from either.

If the juvenile has been adjudicated a repeat or mandatory juvenile offender and if the juvenile has not further violated any criminal statute, a petitioner must wait five years from the date of the termination of the court's jurisdiction over the petitioner or the petitioner's unconditional release from probation or parole supervision, whichever date is later.

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