Colorado Record Sealing FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Colorado Record Sealing service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.

What is the difference between a sealing and an expungement?

In Colorado, the court seals adult records and expunges juvenile records. The effect of both is the same in practice because no sealed or expunged record can be accessed without a court order.

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I no longer live in Colorado, but I have criminal records I would like to seal. Do I have to come back to Colorado to have them sealed?

No, not necessarily. We will have a Colorado attorney file your petition to seal the records for you. Once the petition is filed, the court will set a date for a hearing on the petition. If there is no objection filed by the prosecutor’s office, or various law enforcement agencies, then most courts will vacate a hearing and grant the petition. If you live out of state and a hearing is required, we will appear for you and request that your presence be waived.

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How long does this process take?

The process generally takes between 3 and 6 months from start to finish.

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If the court approves the Order, do I have to notify the agencies of the expungement or sealing?

If the court grants your petition to seal, we will notify Colorado Bureau of Investigation and all other agencies listed on the order for you. We send each notification by certified mail and that cost will be included in your flat fee.

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How long will it take for my records to disappear from background checks after my case is granted?

If you petition is approved by the court, it could take at least three months after filing the petition for your criminal records to disappear from public background checks. The hearing will be set approximately six weeks after the court receives your petition. If the court grants your petition, anticipate another six weeks or so for the court’s order to affect in the agencies responsible for reporting the criminal record information.

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Does this restore my voting rights?

Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated and on parole. Voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of parole, and people on probation can vote. This service does not affect your voting rights.

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Does this restore my firearm rights?

Colorado firearm rights are revoked only upon a felony conviction and they can be restored only by a Colorado governor’s pardon. One common federal firearm ban that applies in Colorado is the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence ban (the Lautenberg Amendment). If you have a Colorado misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, the only way to restore your federal rights is with a Colorado governor’s pardon.

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Do I have to disclose the case after it has been sealed?

No, you do not have to disclose the record once an order to seal has been entered. See Colorado Statute 24-72-702(1)(d).

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Will a sealing help me obtain job in law enforcement, become a nurse, or become a school teacher, etc?

Yes. The petitioner and all criminal justice agencies may properly reply, upon any inquiry in the matter, that no such records exist with respect to the person. There could be an exception to this under federal law because the record can still be accessed by the prosecutor or the petitioner with a court order. See Colorado Statute 24-72-702(1)(d).

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What is a diversion program?

A diversion program is a voluntary alternative program that allows a person accused of a crime to fulfill a set of conditions, or complete a program designed to help with issues related to the criminal charge.

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What is a deferred judgment in Colorado?

A deferred judgment is a judgment for mostly non-violent persons or persons with no criminal record, which permits the Defendant to enter a “conditional guilty plea”. The plea includes, public service hours, payment to the victim, counseling, and/or payment of fines and court costs. This judgement allows the case to be dismissed after completion of the plea terms, and then the case is eligible to be sealed or expunged.

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Can a record be unsealed?

If you obtain a conviction for a new criminal offense after an order for sealing a record is entered, the Court can order the conviction record to be unsealed upon motion of the prosecuting attorney.

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Are there any additional steps I should take?

If you have not already signed up for our Expedited Record Clearance Update (ERCU) service, please visit our website to learn more about our exclusive service that we developed in order to help clients get the maximum benefit from their granted case as quickly as possible:

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The first step towards a better life begins with finding out if you are eligible for Colorado Record Sealing.

FREE Eligibility Test


Call us at 303-974-7801 or Toll Free (877) 573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.

Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
1400 16th Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO. 80202
*By Appointment Only