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Governor Polis Signs Several Criminal Justice Reform Bills into Law

Signed Bill

At the end of May, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed multiple new bills that are geared toward criminal justice reform. These new laws—now immediately in effect—will help convicts re-enter the workforce, apply for college, and even vote.

The following are some of the bills that have been signed into law:

  • HB19-1275 – This law allows convicts to seal their criminal records—whether they were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony—from public viewing three to five years after they complete their sentence. However, murder, sex crimes, assault, and child abuse are excluded.
  • SB19-191 – This law removes bail-related fines and fees, as well as orders courts to hold more-timely bond hearings—specifically within 48 hours of the defendant’s arrival in jail. Every year, state taxpayers spend an average of $23 million to jail individuals prior to trial.
  • HB19-1263 – This law makes possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance (e.g. cocaine, heroin, or meth) a level 1 drug misdemeanor. Before, possession of those types of drugs is considered a level 4 felony. The aim is to offer drug treatment for these individuals, rather than send them to state prison.
  • SB19-170 – This law prevents state universities from asking about an applicant’s criminal history or disciplinary history from previous institutions prior to admission—unless the applicant is facing pending criminal charges or the past criminal charges related to sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, or any other violent crime.
  • SB19-143 – This law prevents a person’s parole from being revoked due to a technical violation and ensure they have the support necessary upon release.
  • SB19-231 – This law creates a scholarship for juveniles who want to go to college.

Whether you are interested in getting your criminal record sealed or modifying a current sentence, contact the Orr Law Firm today at (303) 747-4247 and schedule a free case review today.