Some cases cannot be sealed regardless of the circumstances or the length of time since the case was completed. This is because the legislature has determined some charges are too serious to be sealed and the danger of prejudice due to the criminal history or charge is outweighed by the public’s right to know.
1. DUI/DWAI convictions cannot be sealed. A person may still petition to seal for DUI or DWAI assuming they were acquitted (found not guilty at trial) or the DUI/DWAI charge was dismissed completely.
2. Most felony convictions cannot be sealed. However, in some limited circumstances they can be sealed (e.g. some felony drug convictions, dismissed cases or deferred judgments).
3. Split pleas – a split plea is taking a plea deal to a deferred judgment on one charge and a straight plea (a plea without a deferred judgment) on another charge. A person under a split plea may or may not be able to seal their records depending upon the circumstances, length of time, whether they waived their right to seal, etc..
4. Misdemeanor traffic infractions cannot be sealed if committed by a holder of a CDL or Commercial learners permit or by the operator of a commercial motor vehicle. A person cannot seal a class 1 or class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses, class A or Class B traffic infractions.
5. Waiver. Prosecutors often will require that the right to seal one’s records be waived (give up the right to ask the court to seal the record) as a condition of the plea bargain.
6. Civil cases. The Colorado Revised Statutes on sealing do not cover, divorce, monetary judgments, and civil restraining orders but rather, only cover criminal charges.