Committing a crime as a minor is a big deal – not only for the current moment but because it can potentially follow the person into adulthood. In most cases, someone’s juvenile record in Colorado won’t be used against them as an adult, but that is not a blanket answer that covers every case.
This answer depends on each unique case.
The Colorado Open Records Act
According to the Open Records Act, most Colorado criminal cases are available to be viewed by the public, but limits are placed upon juvenile criminal cases. If a juvenile has completed their sentence or had their case dismissed or acquitted, their record is automatically expunged, thanks to the bill that Governor John Hickenlooper signed in 2017.
This means that if they committed a misdemeanor or a petty offense as a juvenile, it wouldn’t follow them into adulthood.
Not every juvenile crime will be expunged. For example, if a juvenile is a repeat offender, committed homicide/vehicular homicide, or committed a felony related to unlawful sexual behavior, their crime will remain on their record.
If a record is not expunged, there is a chance that a juvenile’s crimes could follow them into adulthood and pose consequences. Having committed a crime as a juvenile could deprive someone of educational opportunities, as criminal records are available for schools to view.
Criminal records are also available to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation when someone’s gun purchase is pending, the Colorado Department of Education as it performs background checks on potential employees, the Colorado Department of Human Services, and Assessment Centers for children.
First Time Offenders
A first-time offender who committed a petty offense or a misdemeanor is likely to get their record expunged when they turn 18.
But if they are a repeat offender or a mandatory sentence offender, or if the only crime they committed was a felony, they can petition to have their record expunged if they have no charges or further delinquency proceedings pending.
The victim of the crime will be notified of this petition, and they have the right to contest it. If there is no objection, the court will enter an expungement order. Still, if there is an objection, there will be a hearing to decide whether or not the juvenile has been rehabilitated adequately and deserves expungement.
Having a criminal defense attorney in Denver on your side can be a huge help while trying to get your juvenile record expunged. To live your life free and clear of your past crimes, get in touch with us at COLaw Team. Give us a call at (970) 670-0738 for a free, thirty-minute consultation.