HB24-1133 - Criminal Record Sealing Expungement Changes

HB24-1133 – Criminal Record Sealing Expungement Changes
Effective Date: July 1, 2025, assuming no referendum petition is filed.

Bill Page / Signed Act / Last Fiscal Note

The bill makes several changes to the process to access, seal, or expunge a criminal record, as outlined below.

Mistaken identity. The bill allows defendants in a mistaken identity case to petition the court to expunge the arrest and criminal records if the law enforcement agency fails to submit a petition. A person filing for expungement must not be charged any fees or cost associated with expunging the record.

Attorney access to sealed records. The bill allows attorneys to access a sealed criminal justice record if the defendant has given written permission and the attorney is accessing the record to provide legal advice. In addition, a law enforcement agency is allowed to release redacted criminal justice records that are the subject of discovery and, if records are released, the court must issue a protective order regarding the records.

Remote participation. The bill allows for remote participation in record sealing hearings.

Sealing when there are no charges filed. In cases where a person is seeking to seal an arrest record when no charges are filed, the court must order the records sealed when the district attorney notifies the court that the person qualifies to have their records sealed. If this does not occur, a defendant may petition the court to seal the record.

Sealing when there is no conviction. The bill moves up the date for a sealing motion when a victim objects to sealing from 42 days to 35 days and does not require the defendant to appear in cases that are dismissed, or where the defendant is acquitted, completes a diversion agreement, or completes a deferred judgement and sentence. Charges that are dismissed due to competency issues are not eligible.

Multiple conviction sealing. The bill allows defendants to file a motion to seal all convictions records in a single case when the records are in the same jurisdiction and requires the defendant to identify the other cases.

Sealing when the law changes. The bill allows a defendant to file, at no cost, a motion with the court to seal a conviction for an offense that is no longer prohibited by statute and to provide notice of the motion to the district attorney. The district attorney may only object to the record sealing when they have a good-faith belief that the offense seeking to be sealed is still illegal. If the district attorney does not object within 42 days after the date of the motion, the court must order the record sealed regardless of other convictions on the defendant’s record. The bill also allows the court to determine eligibility for certain marijuana offenses as they existed before 1992, 2010, and 2013.

Automatic sealing of historical deferred judgments, acquittals, and diversion cases. By July 1, 2025, the bill requires the State Court Administrator to compile a list of deferred judgments, acquittals, and diversion cases prior to August 2022, and send the relevant list to the chief judge of each judicial district. The district courts are required to enter sealing orders based on this list within 14 days of receipt, and to send a copy of the sealing order to the relevant district attorney’s office. The district attorney’s offices are required to enter sealing orders upon receipt of these court orders. Finally, the State Court Administrator must electronically send all orders to seal these records to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Department of Public Safety (CDPS) via data transfer. Upon receipt, the CBI must seal the records. Additionally, to protect defendant confidentiality, the bill prohibits the Judicial Department from sending sealing notifications.