Expungement & Deregistration
Expungement of juvenile delinquency records and getting off of the sex-offender registry are two very important post-adjudication issues that juvenile practitioners need to address. Both the expungement and de-registration statutes have automatic procedures in place which are designed to streamline and simplify these processes. The courts are required to automatically petition for expungement and de-registration in many circumstances.
The entire juvenile expungement statute was repealed and replaced effective November 1, 2017. The most important change in the expungement law is that expungement and the process to start it are automatic for many cases. The court is required to order expungement within forty-two days for all cases where the child is found not guilty, the case is dismissed, or the child completes a sentence for a petty offense, drug petty offense, class 2 or class 3 misdemeanor, or level 1 or level 2 drug misdemeanor as long as the offenses don’t involve unlawful sexual behavior or domestic violence. In addition to this, the court is required to send notice of expungement ninety-one days prior to the completion of the sentence in the following cases: diversion, deferred adjudication, informal adjustment, all other class 1 misdemeanor offenses not eligible above, misdemeanor offenses for unlawful sexual contact, and all felony and drug felony offenses as long as they are not offenses for unlawful sexual behavior, a crime of violence, a class 1 or class 2 felony, and as long as the child did not have any prior felony adjudications.
Any juvenile who has his or her records expunged may lawfully assert that he or she has no juvenile delinquency record, and has never been arrested, charged, adjudicated, convicted, or sentenced in regard to the expunged case. See § C.R.S. 19-1-306 for more information.
Similarly, the de-registration statute has automatic procedures in place as well. A juvenile is eligible to de-register if he or she successfully completes a deferred adjudication (as long as there aren’t any subsequent sex cases). In all deferred adjudication cases, the court is required to, on its own, send out notice of de-registration sixty-three days prior to the end of the deferred adjudication. A juvenile is also eligible to petition to de-register after successful completion of a sentence involving an adjudication. In these cases, the court is again required to, on its own, send notice of de-registration sixty-three days prior to the end of the sentence. The court is required to send these notices automatically and start the de-registration process on behalf of the juvenile automatically. Courts are supposed to consider de-registration upon the completion of a deferred adjudication or sentence. See § C.R.S. 16-22-113 for more information.
Helpful links and additional resources:
- Colorado Judicial Website for Record Sealing: https://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/sealingrecords/
- Colorado Judicial Website to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration for a Juvenile Conviction: https://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=100
- Clean Slate Clearinghouse Website: https://cleanslateclearinghouse.org/
- “Forgiving and Forgetting” Report: http://ccresourcecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Forgiving-Forgetting-Report-CCRC-Oct-17.pdf