Can you seal a felony record in Colorado?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 01, 2020 | 0 Comments

It depends on the felony:

Colorado felony conviction

Sealability and waiting period

Class 1 felonies

Class 2 felonies

Class 3 felonies

Level 1 drug felonies

Sex crimes


Domestic violence

Can never be sealed.

Class 4 felonies

Class 5 felonies

Class 6 felonies

Level 3 drug felonies

Level 4 drug felonies

Sealable three (3) years after the case ends

Level 2 drug felonies

All other felonies

Sealable five (5) years after the case ends

Dismissals (no conviction)

Sealable right away

How to seal a felony case in Colorado

There are six steps for defendants to follow:

  1. Obtain a copy of their criminal records from the police department.
  2. Get a verified copy of their criminal history from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI).
  3. Fill out the JDF 417 Form (for arrest records) or JDF 612 Form (for convictions).
  4. File the form with the court where the case occurred.
  5. Wait for the court to accept or deny the petition. This may take several weeks. Sometimes, the court may schedule a hearing.
  6. If the court issues an order to seal, send copies to all the agencies that have the conviction on file. This includes the CBI and the police department. The agencies usually seal the records within a few weeks.

Sometimes defendants make mistakes on the petition. When this happens, the court notifies the defendant. The defendant then has the opportunity to resubmit the petition.

Defendants are always encouraged to pursue a record seal if possible. Having a criminal record is a social stigma. And employers are more likely to hire people with no record. 

Also see our article about expunging juvenile records in Colorado.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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