Sealing a juvenile record prevents it from being seen by anyone outside of the criminal justice system. Law enforcement and the courts can see it, but for anyone else it becomes nonexistent. In the state of Colorado, a youth’s record can be sealed if:
The petitioner was not convicted of a misdemeanor or felony or was not adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent since his release from parole supervision or since the court jurisdiction terminated;
- No criminal charges or proceedings against the petition are pending;
- The petitioner was rehabilitated to the court’s satisfaction; and
- Sealing the record determined to be in the best interest of the petitioner and the community.
A juvenile record cannot be sealed if:
- The petitioner was adjudicated as a violent or aggravated juvenile offender;
- The petitioner was adjudicated for committing an act that constitutes a violent crime had the petitioner been an adult when the crime was committed;
- The petitioner was charged as adult for an offense committed as a juvenile; and
- The petition was adjudicated for unlawful sexual behavior
A defendant is advised of his right to request the court to seal his juvenile record, and the court may initiate such proceedings. The petition for sealing the record must be done at the court where the record is kept. A hearing date is scheduled, and the court notifies the prosecuting attorney and any other parties who have information relevant to the record’s sealing. After the hearing the court orders the records sealed.
A petition to seal a juvenile record can be done once per year and only: 1) if a juvenile was not found guilty of the alleged offense; 2) a year after he completes a diversion program or a year after the date of his contact with police if he was not referred to another agency; 3) four years after court jurisdiction over the youth has terminated, or his release from his commitment to the Colorado’s Human Services Department, or his unconditional release from parole; or 4) ten years after court jurisdiction over the youth terminates or the youth is released from parole, whichever occurs later, if the youth was adjudicated as a repeat or mandatory juvenile offender and committed no further crimes.