Find Free Colorado Criminal Records & Arrests (Every CO County)

Free Colorado Arrest Records & Criminal Records Search
Access Colorado Records: background checks, warrants, probation and parole, court records, and all criminal and arrest records.

Find free Colorado criminal records in a matter of minutes, including arrest records, probation and parole information, warrants, background check reports and more.

Both the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) make this information publicly available in most cases. However, due to differences in the process, record custodians (agencies that host and distribute the documents), and the organization of each jurisdiction, knowing where to look is crucial for an efficient search.

This resource aims to simplify the process with guidance that provides searchers with the exact agencies and steps to:

  • View recent arrests, reasons for detainment, and mugshots
  • Contact someone in jail and post bail
  • Determine if someone has a criminal history
  • Seal or expunge criminal records
  • Figure out if an individual is on probation or parole
  • Run a background check for personal or professional purposes
  • See if someone is in a state prison or federal prison
  • Check the Colorado and National Sex Offender Registry

Additionally, statutes surrounding the ethical use of criminal records are discussed to ensure citizens understand their rights and have a fair chance at obtaining employment, housing, and education.

Understanding Which Criminal & Arrest Records Are Public Information in Colorado

Under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), most public records — including Colorado arrest records — are available to the public. Of course, there are different processes and agencies that distribute criminal records, and each is covered below.

In addition, the Secretary of State’s office can be helpful when looking for records created by the state of Colorado.

It’s important to note that certain records can not be obtained by the public, such as those that have been sealed, expunged, or juvenile records.

Specifically, in Colorado, no juvenile arrests (17 and under), except those charged as an adult, traffic arrests 15 years and younger, and arrests sealed by court order will appear when searching Colorado’s criminal and arrest records.

Furthermore, there are other various types of Colorado records available to the public, and these go far beyond only criminal histories.

An Explanation of What Shows on Criminal Records Searches vs Arrest Records Searches in Colorado

The most notable difference between Colorado arrest records vs criminal records is that criminal records will show significantly more information than an arrest record.

When learning how to find out what someone was arrested for, the arrest record verifies they were detained, but there is no proof or admission of guilt through an arrest, just that the individual was suspected of the crime.

On the other hand, a criminal record will show the arrest information, what charges were filed, and results from the court, sentencing, and jail information, if applicable. Additionally, historical information may be available through a criminal record search.

How To Tell if Someone Was Arrested & View Their Mugshot

There are various methods to find out if someone is in a Colorado jail, from searching county jail inmate records to contacting the sheriff’s office via phone. It’s recommended to first look through the county jail table below, which contains links to inmate finders that show updated records to show daily arrest reports at no cost.

To find out what someone was charged with when they go to jail, the state-wide search through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) could be utilized. The CBI will be covered in depth below and the search contains detailed information about the arrest reports and is reported directly by various Colorado law enforcement agencies but does cost $4.00 per criminal history report.

Search Colorado Arrest Records for Free Through the County Sherriff’s Office: CO Mugshots & Inmate Lookup

To find current Colorado arrest records, it’s best to contact the local county sheriff’s office or the county jail or use a county’s dedicated inmate search feature. Some of the counties also publicly post their mugshot database.

A screenshot showing a sample county arrest records inmate search tool requiring a last and first name to search an inmate.
Source: Adams County Sheriff’s Office10

If the county does not have an inmate search feature, contacting the county jail or sheriff’s office would be the next best option.

Below is a helpful chart of the 64 counties in Colorado, the phone numbers to the sheriff’s office detention center, and a direct link to their inmate search service, if applicable:

County Inmate Search Tool County Jail or Sheriff’s Office Phone Number Shows Mugshots?
Adams County Sheriff’s Office: 303-654-1850
County Jail: 303-655-3475
Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office: 719-589-4996
County Jail: 719-589-6608
Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office: 303-795-4400
County Jail: 720-874-3500
Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office: 970-264-8430
County Jail: 970-731-3768
Baca County Sheriff’s Office: 719-523-4511 X
Bent County Sheriff’s Office: 719-456-0796
County Jail: 719-456-2610
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office: 303-441-3600
County Jail: 303-441-4650
Broomfield County Sheriff’s Office: 303-469-3301
County Jail: 720-887-2000
Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office: 719-539-2596 X
Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office: 719-767-5634 X
Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office: 303-679-2376 X
Conejos County Sheriff’s Office: 719-376-2196 X
Costilla County Sheriff’s Office: 719-672-0673 X
Crowley County Sheriff’s Office: 719-267-5555
County Jail: 719-579-9580
Custer County Sheriff’s Office: 719-783-2270
Delta County Sheriff’s Office: 970-874-2000
County Jail: 970-874-2027
Denver County Sheriff’s Office: 720-913-3791 X
Dolores County Sheriff’s Office: 970-677-2257 X
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office: 303-660-7505 X
Eagle County Sheriff’s Office: 970-328-8500
County Jail: 970-328-8564
El Paso County Sheriff’s Office: 719-520-7100
County Jail: 719-390-2000
Elbert County Sheriff’s Office: 303-621-2027 X
Fremont County Sheriff’s Office: 719-276-5555 X
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: 970-945-0453
County Jail: 970-945-1377 (ext 1034)
Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office: 303-582-3576
County Jail: 303-582-1060
Grand County Sheriff’s Office: 970-725-3343 X
Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office: 970-641-1108 X
Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Office: 970-944-2291 X
Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office: 719-738-1600 X
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office: 970-723-4242 X
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office: 303-271-0211
County Jail: 303-271-5444
Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office: 719-438-5411 X
Kit Carson County Sheriff’s Office: 719-346-8934
County Jail: 719-346-7006
La Plata County Sheriff’s Office: 970-247-1157 X
Lake County Sheriff’s Office: 719-486-1249
County Jail: 719-486-4127 or 719-486-1249
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office: 970-498-5100
County Jail: 970-498-5200
Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office: 719-846-2211
County Jail: 719-846-2211
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office: 719-743-2846
County Jail: 719-743-2846
Logan County Sheriff’s Office: 970-522-2578
County Jail: 970-522-2578 (option 2)
Mesa County Sheriff’s Office: 970-244-3500
County Jail: 970-244-3930
Mineral County Sheriff’s Office: 719-658-2600 X
Moffat County Sheriff’s Office: 970-824-4495 X
Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office: 970-564-4986
County Jail: 970-564-4995
Montrose County Sheriff’s Office: 970-252-4023
County Jail: 970-252-4006
Morgan County Sheriff’s Office: 970-542-3445 X
Otero County Sheriff’s Office: 719-384-5941
County Jail: 719-384-5941
Ouray County Sheriff’s Office: 970-325-7272 X
Park County Sheriff’s Office: 719-836-4121 (option 5)
County Jail: 719-836-4373
Phillips County Sheriff’s Office: 970-854-3144
County Jail: 970-854-3644
Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office: 970-920-5300
County Jail: 970-920-5331
Prowers County Sheriff’s Office: 719-336-8050 X
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office: 719-583-6125
County Jail: 719-583-6135
Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office: 970-878-9600
County Jail: 970-878-9550
Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office: 719-657-4000 X
Routt County Sheriff’s Office: 970-879-1090 X
Saguache County Sheriff’s Office: 719-655-2544 X
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office: 970-387-5531 X
San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office: 970-728-1911 X
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office: 970-474-3355 or +1-888-344-3355 X
Summit County Sheriff’s Office: 970-453-2232 X
Teller County Sheriff’s Office: 719-687-9652
County Jail: 719-687-7770
Washington County Sheriff’s Office: 970-345-2244 X
Weld County Sheriff’s Office: 970-356-4015
County Jail: 970-356-4015
Yuma County Sheriff’s Office: 970-332-4805
County Jail: 970-345-2244

Check With Colorado Police Departments Who Operate City Jails

Knowing how to find recent arrests in Colorado city jails can be helpful because individuals can be held at once for 24 hours before being transferred to county jail. County jails are the best option to search first because they cover a wider area than most city jails.

Most inmates will be found in Colorado County or state jails, but there are two different city jails, the Denver City Jail and the City of Aurora Jail. Denver City Jail has a dedicated inmate search feature, whereas the City of Aurora jail has a phone call to look up information about inmates.

Here is the phone number and inmate lookup search feature or jail website for the two different city jails in Colorado:

City Jail Phone Number Address
Denver City Jail (Downtown Detention Center) 720-913-3600 490 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204
City of Aurora Jail 303-739-6194 14999 E Alameda Pkwy, Aurora, CO 80012

When individuals can’t be found, a bail bondsman can simplify and expedite locating an inmate and posting bail.

How To Get Ahold of Someone in Jail & Begin the Bail Process (CO)

It’s important to know how to contact an inmate who’s in jail for visitation scheduling and getting bail information. Each facility has slightly different rules and visit requirements, so it’s important to contact each one directly to obtain the most up-to-date information.

To find the specific county’s visitation policies, use the county inmate links above to find the sheriff’s office website, obtain the county jail’s address, and gather their phone number to see the process for scheduling a visit.

Information on posting bonds for someone can be obtained by calling the county jail or sheriff’s office. Again, hiring a bail bondsman can make the process easier since they’re excellent people finders and know how to navigate the criminal justice system.

How To Retrieve Colorado Criminal Records via State Agencies

Colorado criminal records are normally housed at county courts and can often be obtained online for free or requested to be printed for a small fee.

Furthermore, the Court of Clerks can assist while looking for criminal record information if the information can not be found at the county courthouse.

Lastly, Colorado has a unified criminal history check tool, unlike many states, and this all-in-one system makes checking criminal records across the state quick and easy if it’s for personal purposes.

Perform a Criminal Record Search via the County Clerk of Court in CO

Each county in Colorado has its own Clerk’s Office that houses a variety of older records, including criminal records. The best way to check if someone has a criminal record would be to go to or call the Clerk’s Office.

Additionally, some counties have their own county-specific online to check for Colorado criminal records. If a case can’t be found through the online record search, then contacting the Clerk’s office would be the next best thing to do.

A screenshot of Baca County's docket search tool from the Colorado Judicial Branch shows fields for county, court, division, date range, case number, and party name.
Source: Colorado Judicial Branch11

For a list of the different county Clerk’s Offices with the address and phone number, check the table below:

County Court Criminal Records Search Courthouse Address Phone Number
Adams County 1100 Judicial Center Drive
Brighton, CO 80601
Alamosa County 8955 Independence Way
Alamosa, CO 81101
Arapahoe County 5334 S. Prince St.
Littleton, CO 80120
Archuleta County 109 Harman Park Drive, PO Box 148
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
Baca County 741 Main Street, Suite 5
Springfield, CO 81073
Bent County 725 Bent Avenue
Las Animas, CO 81054
Boulder County 1777 6th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Broomfield County 17 Descombes Dr.
Broomfield, CO 80020
Chaffee County 142 Crestone Avenue, P.O. Box 279
Salida, CO 81201
Cheyenne County 51 S. 1st St., P.O. Box 696
Cheyenne Wells, CO 80810
Clear Creek County 405 Argentine, P.O. Box 367
Georgetown, CO 80444
Conejos County 6683 County Road 13, P.O. Box 128
Conejos, CO 81129
Costilla County 304 Main Street, P.O. Box 301
San Luis, CO 81152
Crowley County 110 East 6th Room 303
Ordway, CO 81063
Custer County 205 S. 6th St., PO Box 60
Westcliffe, CO 81252
Delta County 501 Palmer St., #338
Delta, CO 81416
Denver County 520 West Colfax Avenue, Rm. 135 (Clerk’s Office)
Denver, CO 80204
Dolores County 409 N. Main, P.O. Box 511
Dove Creek, CO 81324
Douglas County 4000 Justice Way Ste. 2009
Castle Rock, CO 80109
Eagle County 885 Chambers Ave, P.O. Box 597
Eagle, CO 81631
El Paso County 270 S Tejon St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Elbert County 51 Ute Ave., PO Box 232
Kiowa, CO 80117
Fremont County 136 Justice Center Rd
Canon City, CO 81212
Garfield County 109 8th St., Suite 104
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Gilpin County 2960 Dory Hill Road, Suite 200
Black Hawk, CO 80422
Grand County 307 Moffat Avenue
PO Box 192, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451
Gunnison County 200 E. Virginia Avenue
Gunnison, CO 81230
Hinsdale County 317 Henson
Lake City, CO 81235
Huerfano County 200 West 5th Street, Suite 141
Walsenburg, CO 81089
Jackson County 396 Lafever St., PO Box 308
Walden, CO 80480
Jefferson County 100 Jefferson County Parkway
Golden, CO 80401
Kiowa County 1305 Goff Street, PO Box 353
Eads, CO 81036
Kit Carson County 1650 Donelan, Suite 301
Burlington, CO 80807
719-346-5524 (ext 3)
La Plata County 1060 E. 2nd Ave., Rm 106
Durango, CO 81301
Lake County 505 Harrison Avenue, PO Box 55
Leadville, CO 80461
(719)293-8100 #9
Larimer County 201 La Porte Ave., Suite 100
Ft. Collins, CO 80521
Las Animas County 200 E. 1st St., Room 304
Trinidad, CO 81082
Lincoln County 103 Third Ave., P.O. Box 128
Hugo, CO 80821
Logan County 110 N. Riverview Road
Sterling, CO 80751
Mesa County 125 N Spruce St., P.O. Box 20,000-5030
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Mineral County 1201 North Main, P.O. Box 337
Creede, CO 81130
Moffat County 1198 W. Victory Way Suite 200
Craig CO 81625
Montezuma County 865 North Park Street, Suite 100
Cortez, CO 81321
Montrose County 1200 North Grand Avenue
Montrose, CO 81401
Morgan County 400 Warner Street
Fort Morgan, CO 80701
Otero County 13 West Third St., Room 207
La Junta, CO 81050
Ouray County 541 4th St, P.O. Box 643
Ouray, CO 81427
Park County 300 Fourth St., P.O. Box 190
Fairplay, CO 80440
Phillips County 221 S. Interocean Avenue, 2nd Floor
Holyoke, CO 80734
970-854-3279 x0
Pitkin County 506 E Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
Prowers County 301 S. Main, Suite 300
Lamar, CO 81052
Pueblo County 215 W. 10th Street
Pueblo, Colorado 81003
Rio Blanco County 455 Main Street, P.O. Box 1150
Meeker, CO 81641
Rio Grande County 925 6th Street, Room 204
Del Norte, CO 81132
Routt County 1955 Shield Drive Unit 200
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Saguache County 501 4th Street, P.O. Box 197
Saguache, CO 81149
San Juan County 1557 Greene Street, PO Box 900
Silverton, CO 81433
San Miguel County 305 W. Colorado Ave., P.O. Box 919
Telluride, CO 81435
Sedgwick County 315 Cedar Street
Julesburg, CO 80737
Summit County 501 N. Park Avenue
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 453-2272
Teller County 101 W. Bennett Avenue, P.O. Box 997
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
Washington County 26861 Hwy 34, P.O. Box 455
Akron, CO 80720
Weld County 901 9th Ave, P.O. Box 2038 (80632)
Greeley, CO 80631
Yuma County 310 Ash Street, Suite L
Wray, CO 80758

Utilize the Colorado Bureau of Investigation To Access Criminal Records

To figure out if someone in Colorado has a criminal history, the easiest way to do this is to use the Colorado state-wide criminal record online directory.

A screenshot showing the Internet Criminal History Check System for the Individual category asking for the information of the individual that will be checked.
Source: Colorado Bureau of Investigation12

It is important to note that this registry will not show juvenile arrests (17 years old and younger), traffic arrests 15 years old and under, or arrests sealed by court order.

Each search has a $4.00 fee, and both first and last names and birthdates are required.

To search for an individual, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation search page.
  2. There is an option to sign up for a free account. The account’s benefits are submitting batch files and individual requests, viewing past and present statements, and using a pre-pay account for payment. A free account is optional to perform the search.
  3. Scroll down to the yellow bar that says “Click for ICHC Searches,” which will open the Internet Criminal History Check System search page. Click on “account user” if you have an account; if not, click “individual.”
  4. Agree to the Terms & Limitations and click continue.
  5. Enter the first and last name and date of birth. Adding a social security number or IDT number (a unique number issued by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to an individual marked as a Victim of Misidentification) is optional. Click continue.
  6. Review and confirm information, then continue.
  7. Add all your information, including first and last name, address, billing address, and payment information, then click continue.
  8. Once the payment has been processed, individually checked names will show results instantly.

It’s also possible to request online criminal records via email through the Colorado Open Records Act & Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act (CORA & CCJRA) and inmate records. When requesting the records via email, it’s important to include your name, the inmate’s name, DOC number, date of birth, and the specific records requested.

A screenshot showing the CORA/CCJRA email address to where to send a record request and the list of information that will be sent to the email.
Source: Colorado Department of Corrections13

How To Get a Copy of My Own Criminal Record Report in Colorado

The best method to obtain a copy of Colorado criminal records would be to search the Internet Criminal History Check (ICHC) through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Noteworthy things to remember regarding this are that each search will cost $4.00, no warrant information will be shown, only currently registered sex offenders will appear on the search, and no juvenile or sealed records will be shown. Records obtained through the search are available immediately.

If the specific county of interest is known, contacting the county Clerk’s office would be another great avenue to obtain the records, as some counties have a free online search platform. Getting printed copies of the records may come with additional fees from the Clerk’s office.

How To Obtain Probation & Parole Information in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Corrections has 19 different parole offices throughout the state that oversee parole.

The Colorado Judicial Branch Probation Department manages probation, and each county has its own probation office and probation search protocol. It can be helpful to know how to search probation or parolee databases to see if someone is on probation or parole for various reasons, including knowing if someone was released from prison earlier.1

To clarify, probation is a sentence for someone accused of minor offenses or misdemeanors and occurs after someone has served little to no time in jail. On the other hand, parole is designated for those who have committed major offenses and is often viewed as an early release from prison and is part of their sentence.

The following image displays the total number of probationers and parolees in Colorado and compares it with other states across the United States. Additionally, it showcases the ethnicities of individuals on community supervision in Colorado, including probation and parole.

An image of the United States map divided into different states with its total combined probationers and parolees population per 100,000 residents highlighting Colorado state found in the middle part of the map and bar graph found in the bottom right corner presenting the number of probationers and parolees by ethnicity in CO.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Per the Colorado Judicial Branch, the best way to find out if someone is on probation in CO is to contact the specific District Court Clerk’s office for all information on adult sentences.

To check who is on parole in Colorado, it’s recommended to contact the specific Colorado parole office or contact the community parole officer at CWISE +1-800-426-9143, which is available 24 hours a day.

Another way to determine if a federally charged individual is on parole or probation is by searching the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Their online database will not show if someone is specifically on parole or probation but does show information on when federally charged inmates were released.

A screenshot of the inmate locator of the Federal Bureau of Prisons displays a disclaimer text about the content and the input fields for first, middle, and last names, race, age, and sex.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons14

It’s also possible to run a personal background check on the individual for their full rap sheet, search through the sex offender registry, or check criminal records at the county courthouse for past offenses.

Steps & Process To Seal or Expunge a Criminal Record in Colorado

Based on the case’s outcome, there are slightly different methods and forms to fill out when attempting to seal a criminal record in Colorado. Someone can request their records be sealed by filing a petition with the District/county/municipal court where the arrest occurred or where the criminal records are filed.2

Below is a direct link to the instructions and different forms that are required:

To seal a criminal record in Colorado, choose the above link that corresponds with the outcome of the charge and follow the clear instructions. To help simplify the process, obtaining legal counsel from an attorney or lawyer is advised.

A screenshot of the petition form to seal arrest and criminal records from the Colorado Judicial Branch displays the check boxes for the type of petitioner, fields for information about the person of interest, and agency.
Source: Colorado Judicial Branch15

A new law passed in 2022 has changed the automation process for sealing criminal records in Colorado. Coined the Clean Slate Act, or Bill 22-099, this act states that any petty offense will be automatically sealed after four years, misdemeanor offenses will be sealed after seven years, and felony offenses will be sealed after ten years.3

How To Check if Someone Is in a Colorado State Prison (Or Federal Prison)

The Colorado Department of Corrections has a free inmate search platform to search those in state prisons. The search can be done with the DOC number, a 6-digit ID number given to each inmate or by first or last name.

A screenshot showing the Offender Search platform provided by the Colorado Department of Corrections that has the Docno, Last Name, and First Name fields to fill out to locate an offender's record.
Source: Colorado Department of Corrections16

The results will show the inmate’s first and last names, DOC #, ethnicity, gender, age, and what facility they are located in will show up. Suppose you click on the person’s name. In that case, more information will populate, including their mugshot and demographics such as hair and eye color, height and weight, expected release date, and parole eligibility date.

While the data shows the sentencing date, length of sentence, and case number, the search does not explicitly state the crime.

A screenshot of the offender search results from the Colorado Department of Corrections displays the inmate's first and last names, DOC number, ethnicity, gender, age, and what facility they are located in, as well as the mugshot and demographics such as hair and eye color, height, and weight, expected release date, and parole eligibility date.
Source: Colorado Department of Corrections16

Because this search will not bring up what the individual was convicted of, contacting the specific facility for more information regarding the charges is recommended. There are 19 state-run facilities in Colorado and two private facilities.4

The information found on the inmate search through the Colorado Department of Corrections changes often. If someone is looking for an official record of time calculation, it’s recommended to contact the Time & Release operations at [email protected].

To find current and historical data on a federally charged inmate, someone can search the Bureau of Prison. Both the first and last names are required, or the search can be done with the inmate number.

How To View Arrest Warrants in Colorado

It would be best to contact the county to find out if you or someone else has a warrant for their arrest in Colorado. This would be done by checking the links and phone numbers below. Six counties in Colorado have a warrant list search on their website.

If looking for warrant information for a different county in Colorado, search “[County Name] warrant search” and navigate to the official county website for a given region. If applicable, there will be a warrant search in the menu that can be searched online, but if not, navigate to the contact page to call the county sheriff’s office.

Here is a list of counties in Colorado that have a dedicated warrant search feature on their website:

If the county in question is not listed above, contacting the Sheriff’s office for further information is recommended.

A screenshot of the warrant search tool from the Adams County Sheriff's Office shows the input fields for last name, first name, and date of birth, followed by the results containing the following information: name, birthday, sex, race, height, weight, hair color, eye color, warrant number, warrant type, docket number, entry date, crime, original charge, issue date, issuing agency, bond amount, and bond type.
Source: Adams County Sheriff’s Office17

To find each county sheriff’s phone number, reference the table in the county jail section above.

Understanding Background Checks in the State of Colorado (Professional & Personal Uses)

Background checks have various purposes and can be used for professional and personal reasons. They are often used for employment, residency, and purchasing firearms. They can also be used during security clearance checks and volunteer and adoption applications.

With how easily accessible the internet has made things, every person can investigate different public information about a person, from criminal records, addresses, employment history, and more personal information. On the other hand, professional background checks are used to verify personal information about employment history, residency, adoption, credit history, and criminal and education history.

It’s also noteworthy that professional background checks require someone’s content, whereas personal background checks do not. Furthermore, personal background checks are not governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) but can not be used for ill intent, such as stalking, intimidation, or harassment.

There are two types of background checks: level 1 and level 2. A Level 1 background check is name-based or name with SSN that looks at local records (state or county) to scan for all criminal and employment records.

Level 2 background checks are more intensive and search nationwide information making them more accurate and in-depth.

Fingerprints search this type of background check and will deliver more information, including both personal and criminal information, including previous addresses, employers, marital status, credit history, educational and professional certifications, along with misdemeanors, felonies, pending criminal cases, civil judgments, arrests, sex crimes, and prison or jail records.

A Level 2 background check is used for employment with at-risk populations such as children and older people such as those working in schools, nursing homes, and daycares and healthcare professionals and some other C-level positions such as chief executive officers and chief operating officers.

When requesting a background check, the process varies for Level 1 vs Level 2. Level 1 is normally requested at the state level with the state police, county, or bureau of investigation. In contrast, Level 2 background checks are always obtained by sending fingerprints to the FBI.

Colorado has an extensive Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) search feature through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. There are clear instructions on the website and different links based on the type of agency requesting the background check and whether it is for employment or personal reasons.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation can be contacted at 303-239-4208 for any further questions or concerns regarding background checks.

Background checks used for professional reasons must abide by certain laws. Employers must get written permission before running a background check, and the potential employee has the right to say no, knowing that may prevent them from getting the job.5

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects information gained from credit reports and ensures only those with a specific purpose can obtain this information.6 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also protects employees from discrimination.

Anyone can use personal background checks for any reason, but they can not be used for harassment, hate crimes, stalking, etc.

How To Find Sexual Predators Nearby by Navigating the State & National Sex Offender Registries (CO)

To search for sex offenders in Colorado, there is a state-wide search feature through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

It is important to note that the CBI does not publish information on sex offenders convicted of misdemeanor offenses or juveniles convicted of sex crimes on their online search page. For a full list of registered sex offenders, it’s recommended to contact the local police department or county sheriff’s office or contact the CBI at (303)239-4222 or at [email protected].

A screenshot showing a statewide sex offender search platform provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation with Last Name, First Name, City, Zip Code, or County fields to fill out to locate a sex offender record.
Source: Colorado Bureau of Investigation18

Any of the following can search the Colorado sex offender registry: last name, first name, city, zip code, or county. For example, to look up a specific person, it’s possible to search by their last or first name, and if curious to see a list of all registered offenders in Denver, type “Denver” into the city search bar and hit search.

From there, the individual’s mugshot, address, date of birth, and identifying information such as height, weight, race, scars/marks/tattoos, and conviction will be shown.

For a larger overview, there is also the option to search the national sex offender registry through the United States Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender public website.

An Overview of Colorado Laws on Criminal Records & Arrest Records

When viewing and obtaining Colorado arrest records, which include criminal records, professionals, in particular, must abide by federal and state law.

The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requires that most public records repositories are available to the public, with exceptions such as juvenile records and those that have been sealed.

A new Colorado law in 2022 is the Clean Slate Act, or Bill 22-099, which states that any petty offense will be automatically sealed after four years, misdemeanor offenses will be sealed after seven years, and felony registry offenses will be sealed after ten years.

Furthermore, the Colorado Chance to Compete Act (Ban the Box) prohibits employers with 11 or more employees from saying “a person with a criminal record can not apply for the position” on job postings or inquiring about or requiring disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history on the initial application.

In addition to Colorado laws, two important federal laws have to be followed. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects individuals from discrimination. It states that the same standards must be given to everyone despite their race, color, age, genetic information, and more, including disabilities.7

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) further protects someone while obtaining background information by requiring the applicant to tell the employee the information may be used to decide on their employment, must receive the applicant’s written permission, and the applicant must be given a copy of the consumer report that led to the decision.8

For personal criminal record searches, running a background check without someone’s consent is permitted as long as the information isn’t used to intimidate, harass or stalk another person. However, for professional reasons such as property management, licensing, jobs, etc., these must abide by all federal and local laws. Written permission must be received before running a professional background check.

Despite these laws and statutes governing the use of criminal records, Colorado arrest records and warrant details can be found through the county sheriff’s offices and local police departments as long as it’s for personal uses only. Additionally, Colorado criminal records can be obtained through each counties’ clerk of court, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, the Colorado Department of Corrections, and the Colorado Sex Offender Registry.


1Ulster County. (2023). What is the difference between probation and parole? <>

2Colorado Bureau of Investigation. (2023). Colorado State Statues and Links. Court Order Sealing of Arrests. <>

3Colorado General Assembly. (2022, May 31). Senate Bill 22-099. <>

4Colorado Department of Corrections. (2023). Facilities. <>

5Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice. (2023). Employer Background Checks and Your Rights. <>

6Federal Trade Commission Protecting America’s Consumers. (2023). Fair Credit Reporting Act. <>

7U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2023). Overview. <>

8U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2023). Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know. <>

9Colorado Secretary of State. (2023). Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>

10Adams County Sheriff’s Office. (2023). Inmate Search – Adams County Detention Facility, Colorado. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>

11Colorado Judicial Branch. (2023). Baca County Docket Search. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>

12Colorado Bureau of Investigation. (2023). Individual Check. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>

13Colorado Department of Corrections. (2023). CORA/CCJRA. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>

14Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2023). Find an Inmate. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>

15Colorado Judicial Branch. (2023, May 30). Petition To Seal Arrest And Criminal Records When No Charges Filed Pursuant To §24-72-704, C.R.S. Retrieved May 3, 2024, from <>

16Colorado Department of Corrections. (2023). Offender Search. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>

17Adams County Sheriff’s Office. (2024). Warrant Search. Retrieved May 3, 2024, from <>

18Colorado Bureau of Investigation. (2023). Search. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from <>