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What defines a Criminal Record in Colorado?

A criminal record contains official data about a person’s arrests, convictions, and criminal history. The information is compiled from county and state jurisdictions as well as trial courts and correctional facilities across the state of Colorado. In compliance with state laws, including the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), members of the public may inspect or obtain public criminal records by submitting a request to the government agency. The amount of criminal records information presented on varies from individual to individual. This is because different sources often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization, and digitization processes.

How to Find Criminal Records in Colorado?

While most counties have different standards for recollection, most criminal records are preserved in an online repository, where they can be accessed through different agencies, including police departments and courts. In the state of Colorado, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation serves as a central repository for arrest records.


What’s in a Criminal Record in Colorado?

Criminal records vary between different individuals. However, most records contain information on the subject’s as well as physical description and criminal charges (if any). These include:

  • Full name with any known aliases
  • Subject’s date of birth
  • Past and current addresses
  • Fingerprints
  • A photograph or mugshot
  • Physical descriptors such as race, tattoos, eye and hair color, etc.
  • Former arrests
  • Current or past warrants
  • Criminal charges

What is an Arrest Record in Colorado?

An arrest record is an official document providing information about a person who has been arrested. It may also contain data about the incident that led to the arrest as well as general information connected with the arrest. Most arrest records fall under the umbrella of public records, and therefore can be viewed or inspected by members of the public. However, some arrest records may be closed to the public, such as arrest records connected to an ongoing investigation, records sealed by law, or records closed for public safety.

What is an Arrest Warrant in Colorado?

An arrest warrant is an official document that authorizes law enforcement officials to detain or arrest the person(s) named in the warrant. In the state of Colorado, arrest warrants are signed and issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the local and state jurisdictions. To obtain a warrant, law enforcement officers must provide evidence or show probable cause that a crime has been committed. In some cases, arrest warrants may originate from a grand jury.

  • What’s contained in an Arrest Warrant?
  • Most arrest warrants contain specific information connected to the arrest, including
  • Name of the individuals to be arrested
  • Where and when the warrant was issued
  • The crime the individual is accused of committing
  • Details of how the arrest may be made
  • The name and signature of the judge who approved the warrant

Can Arrest Be Made in Colorado Without an Arrest Warrant?

Colorado code of criminal procedure permits police officers to make warrantless arrests if:

  • The law enforcement officer has probable cause that an individual committed a felony
  • The law enforcement officer directly witnesses an individual committing a crime

In many of the counties across Colorado, including Jefferson and Adams County, police officers and sheriff's deputies have a free pass to go and talk to the "duty judge" to ask for permission to go inside someone's private residence, car or business to search for evidence. Or, they can ask for permission to take someone into custody by arrest. The process is entirely behind the scenes and private.

What are Misdemeanors in Colorado?

Misdemeanors in Michigan are offenses that are considered to be “lesser” or minor crimes. They are punished less severe than felonies, with sentences ranging from 90 days to up to a year. There are three main types of misdemeanors in Colorado, regular misdemeanors, drug misdemeanors, and traffic misdemeanors. Examples of misdemeanors in Colorado include:

  • Engaging in speed contests
  • Careless driving
  • Unlawful use or possession of a driver’s license
  • Prostitution
  • Fourth-degree arson
  • Theft of property (less than $300)
  • Fighting in public
  • Second-degree forgery
  • Assault in the third degree

Colorado law also divides misdemeanor offenses into multiple classes based on the severity of the crime: Class 1 through Class 3.

  • Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanor. They’re punishable by up to 6 to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of $500 to $5,000.
  • Class 2 misdemeanors are the second least serious type of misdemeanor with a minimum penalty of 3 months in jail and/or $250 to $1,000 in fines
  • Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious type of misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $50 to $750

Some crimes are unclassified and the sentences for these crimes are set forth in the statute that defines the crime.

What is a Felony in Colorado?

Felony crimes in Colorado refer to offenses that carry a minimum penalty of more than 1 year in prison. For some crimes, felony convictions may be punishable by death. Like most states, felonies in Colorado are divided into several basic classes that determine the sentencing range and fine: Class 1 to Class 6.

  • Class 1 Felonies are the most severe punishable by life in prison or death.
  • Class 2 Felonies are punishable by 8 to 24 years in prison and/or $5,000 to $1,000,000 in fines
  • Class 3 Felonies carry a sentencing range of 4 to 12 years in prison and/or $3,000 to $750,000 in fines
  • Class 4 Felonies are punishable by 2 to 6 years in prison and/or a fine of $2,000 to $500,000
  • Class 5 Felonies carry penalties of up to 1 to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.
  • Class 6 felony crimes are the least serious with a sentence range of 1 to 3 years and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.

Note: Some felonies in Colorado are unclassified. For unclassified felonies, the sentence is set out in the criminal statute. If no penalty is fixed, then a felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

What is a Sex Offender Listing in Colorado?

Colorado’s sex offender’s listing contains an official compilation of convicted sex offenders in the state. It provides public records on registered sex offenders in the state, including their names, address, and physical descriptors. In the state of Colorado, judges are given discretion as to whether they require registration for crimes besides the charges listed under the sex offender registration law, A judge may order an adult to register as a sex offender if the crime they were convicted of involves sexual motivation. In Colorado, the penalties that apply to a case of sex assault depend on the circumstances of the offense. Sexual assault is usually charged as a class 4 felony and penalties include a fine of at least $2,000 (and up to $5,000), at least one year (and up to 12 years) in prison, or both.

What is Megan's Law?

Megan's Law is the unofficial term used to describe laws enacted by Colorado to provide public information on registered sex offenders. It mandates the registration of anyone convicted of a sex-related offense and establishes the public’s right to access, copy or inspect these records, in compliance with state laws. Registration is also mandated for anyone convicted for unlawful sexual behavior or of another offense, the underlying factual basis of which involves unlawful sexual behavior, or any person who is released from the custody of the department of corrections having completed serving a sentence for unlawful sexual behavior or for another offense.

The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government implemented a requirement that all states establish sex offender registries and provide the public with information about those registered.

What is a Serious Traffic Violation in Colorado?

Serious traffic violations in Colorado consist of moving and non-moving offenses by drivers that result in damage to property, serious bodily injury, public safety, and multiple minor traffic violations. Traffic fines in Colorado vary depending on which county you committed the violation. The state of Colorado has a standard points system that assigns specific points to each violation. Drivers that accrue too many points risk having their license suspended for a fixed period. Examples of major traffic violations in Colorado include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident
  • Driving while ability impaired
  • Careless driving causing death or bodily injury

What is a Conviction Record?

Conviction records provide information on the official status of a person’s conviction. They indicate if the subject pleaded guilty or was found guilty. Pleas of “Nolo contendere” also become part of the eventual criminal record, as do instances where an individual has been judged delinquent, has been less than honorably discharged or has been placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. Conviction records do not include final judgments that have been reversed, deleted by a pardon, or set aside.

What are Jail and Inmate Records?

Inmate records in Colorado provide official information about a person’s current and sometimes past inmate status. Records are compiled and managed by Colorado's Department of Corrections, which is headquartered at:

1250 Academy Park Loop
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Phone: (719) 579-9580

The department maintains a public inmate database that provides general information on inmates, including the offender’s name, incarceration date, expected release date, and convicted offense. In addition to the housing facility where the offender is held, inmate records may also include photos.

What are Parole Records?

Parole records provide information on prisoners who are out on early release. It includes general public information, such as the name of the prisoner, any known aliases, physical descriptors, and conditions of release. Records of parolees may be obtained by contacting the parole headquarters located at:

940 Broadway
Denver CO 80203
Phone: (303) 763-2420

What are Probation Records?

Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in Colorado to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they comply with probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer. Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case. Probation typically falls into three categories: minimally supervised, supervised and intensive. Intensive probation is a form of very strict probation that has conditions that emphasize punishment and control of the offender within the community.

What are Colorado Juvenile Criminal Records?

A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information regarding criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered to be convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are found to be “adjudicated delinquent.”

Are Juvenile Records open to the Public?

Juvenile records in Colorado aren’t open to the public. They’re protected by law and may only be viewed by a limited group of people. Access to juvenile records may be granted to:

  • Parents or guardians of the youth
  • Youth on record
  • Individuals intervening on behalf of the unit during a proceeding
  • The DA’s office
  • The Juvenile department

Colorado History and Accuracy of Criminal Records

The accuracy of the data of criminal records depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Colorado criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s when criminal and arrest data started to be centralized and compiled into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past, but in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer. As a result, the information provided by will vary from person to person.

Colorado State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (719) 212-4797

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Police Records
  • Sheriff Records
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Probation Records
  • Parole Records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Birth Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Personal Assets
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Political Contributions
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Criminal Record

Criminal Record