Expunging & Sealing Criminal Records

June 16, 2021 | Bill Henry

People often think sealing and expunging criminal records are the same. They’re actually quite different, though.

In this article, Robinson & Henry Lead Criminal Defense Attorney Ryan Robertson explains the difference between sealing and expunging criminal records.

Get Help Expunging Criminal Records

If you would like to talk to an attorney about getting help sealing or expunging criminal records, schedule a free case assessment with a member of our Criminal Defense Team when you call 303-688-0944 or click here.

Sealing & Expunging Criminal Records are Different

People often think sealing and expunging criminal records are the same thing, but they are not.

Expunging Criminal Records

Expunging criminal records in Colorado is only available for juvenile offenses. Juvenile criminal records are for offenses that occur when you were younger than 18 years of age. Expungement actually destroys the records. Once the record is expunged, it no longer exists.

Sealing Criminal Records 

On the other hand, sealing criminal records is for offenses you were convicted of after you turn 18.

Sealing criminal records suppresses the records; it does not mean they no longer exist. The records will still be able to be accessed by law enforcement, including the district attorney’s office, when investigating a matter.

As you can see, suppressing a record versus destroying one is very different.

Your Chances of Sealing or Expunging

So, if you’re an adult who was convicted of an adult crime, you will not be able to get rid of the record. However, you most likely will be able to get it sealed. This article touches on which criminal records cannot be sealed.

If you were a juvenile, in most circumstances, you’ll be able to get an expungement, which is the better outcome for you.

Get Help with Your Criminal Record

We strongly recommend you talk to a criminal defense attorney if you want to explore suppressing or destroying your criminal records.

Our criminal defense attorneys are well-versed with Colorado’s criminal law, and they can help you navigate the process so it is a successful one for you. Call 303-688-0944 to schedule a free, 30-minute case assessment.

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