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Sealing of Criminal Convictions – Drug Related Crimes

In 2009, the Colorado State Legislature Created a Procedure for Sealing Certain Drug Related Convictions – Here are the new rules taken directly from the State Website:  

Any person in interest (party to the case) may petition the District Court to seal criminal conviction records by filing a civil action in the county in which the criminal conviction record is filed.

If you have been convicted of more than one offense in a single case, the conviction records may be sealed only if the records of every conviction resulting from the case may be sealed pursuant to this section. 

You may petition the Court to seal criminal conviction records for an offense involving controlled substance, except basic identifying information,  if you meet the two requirements listed below:

1. Ten or more years have passed from the final disposition of all criminal proceedings against you or you have been released from supervision concerning a criminal conviction, whichever is later;


2. You have not been charged or convicted for a criminal offense in the ten or more years since the date of the final disposition of all criminal proceedings or the date of your release from supervision, whichever is later.

You may not petition the Court to seal criminal conviction records if you still owe restitution, fines, court costs, late fees, or other fees ordered by the Court in the case being requested to seal, unless the court has vacated such order.

  Defendants convicted of the following offenses are eligible to petition to seal the conviction:

1. Any petty offense in violation of article 18 of title 18;

2. Any misdemeanor in violation of article 18 of title 18.

3. Any class 5 or class 6 felony in violation of article 18 of title 18 EXCEPT if the conviction was for the sale, manufacturing or dispensing of a controlled substance as defined at §18-18-102(5), C.R.S. or attempt of those offenses or for possession with intent to manufacture, dispense or sell a controlled substance.

4. Any offense that would be a class 5 or class 6 felony in violation of article 18 of title 18 if the offense were to have occurred on July 1, 2008.

An order sealing conviction records shall not be construed to vacate a conviction.

If you obtain a conviction of a new criminal offense after an order sealing conviction records is entered, the Court, on its own motion or upon the motion of any prosecuting attorney, shall order the conviction record to be unsealed.

The office of the prosecuting attorney may charge you for all reasonable attorney fees and costs relating to the petition to seal.  Such costs will be payable prior to the entry of an order sealing the conviction records.

The Court, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, or prosecuting attorney for any lawful purpose relating to the investigation or prosecution of any case will always have access to the file. The files are not destroyed. 

Upon the entry of an order to seal and an inquiry in the matter, you and all criminal justice agencies may properly respond that “no such conviction record exists with respect to such person”. For additional information, please review §24-72-308.5, C.R.S.

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H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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