What Juveniles and Parents Must Know About Expunging Juvenile Convictions
Back in January, my colleague, Blair, wrote a blog on understanding juvenile conviction consequence. The blog explained that juvenile adjudications or convictions are not automatically sealed when a child turns eighteen.
In fact, Juvenile records remain accessible even on closed or dismissed cases, unless the Court has signed an Order of Expungement of Juvenile Records. So, if juvenile convictions are not automatically sealed, how does a person go about having such convictions removed from their juvenile record?
To remove a juvenile conviction from a juveniles record, that person must file a “Petition for Expungement of Records.” Although the process seems fairly straight forward, there are a number of administrative tasks that must be accomplished along with filing the Petition in the District Court.
Those administrative tasks include a notice of hearing, a proposed order granting the petition, and an attachment with all law enforcement agencies involved in the original case plus a background check to ensure the conviction is truthfully expunged.
In addition to the admin tasks, there are some technicalities involved determining whether a particular conviction can be expunged, and if it can be, when the Petition can be filed.
Note, a Petition for Expungement of Records may be filed only once during any 12-month period. If the Petition is denied for any reason, another Petition cannot be filed for 12-months.
A juvenile is eligible to file a Petition for Expungement:
Immediately upon the following circumstances: a finding of not guilty at an adjudicatory trial; dismissal of the petition in its entirety as a result of non-prosecution of the offense; or successful completion of a juvenile diversion program, a deferred adjudication, or an informal adjustment.
One year from the date of the following occurrences: a law enforcement contact that did not result in a referral to another agency; or the termination of the Court’s jurisdiction over the juvenile after successful completion of probation
Three years from the date of the following occurrences: the juvenile’s unconditional release from commitment to the Department of Human Services; or unconditional release from parole supervision.
Five years from the date of the termination of the Court’s jurisdiction over the juvenile or unconditional release from probation or parole supervision, whichever date is later, if the juvenile has been adjudicated a repeat or mandatory juvenile offender and if the juvenile has not further violated any criminal statute.
A juvenile is not eligible to have a conviction expunged if:
Adjudicated for an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior as defined in §16-22-102(9), C.R.S.; or
Adjudicated an aggravated juvenile offender pursuant to §19-2-516(4), C.R.S.; or
Adjudicated a violent juvenile offender pursuant to §19-2-516(3), C.R.S.; or
Was charged by the direct filing of an indictment or information in district court as a juvenile pursuant to §19-2-517, C.R.S., and you received an adult sentence; or
Has failed to pay court-ordered restitution to the victim of the offense that is the basis for the juvenile record.
It is important for juvenile’s with any convictions to know if and when they are eligible for an Order of Expungement. It is even more important that if a juvenile is eligible for an Order of Expungement that a Petition is filed when appropriate.
To ensure the timeliness and merit of a Petition for Expungement, juveniles and/or their parents should seek the advice and counsel of an experienced juvenile attorney to prevent any delay in successfully having a juvenile conviction removed from their record.
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