Identity theft laws and penalties in Colorado

With the advent of technology ruling our lives like never before, the rise of identity theft crimes has significantly impacted our society. Identity theft can take on many forms, each with its set of circumstances and resulting penalties. Identity theft. If a person knowingly uses another person’s personal identifying information without consent or legal authority, then the crime of identity theft occurs when that person tries to obtain goods, services or anything else of value. It also extends to applying for credit, getting a government issued document, or changing or altering a document in someone else’s name. Committing identity theft in Colorado is a Class 4 felony. Criminal impersonation. Impersonating someone else or using a false identity becomes a criminal offense if that act is used to gain some benefit or to defraud another person. Criminal impersonation includes marrying someone else, performing an action that might allow someone else to become criminally or civilly liable, or affixing their impersonated identity to a legal document such as a contract with the intent that it be taken as true. Committing criminal impersonation is a Class 6 felony. Criminal possession of a financial device. If you possess any financial instrument such as a credit or debit card, charge card or the numbers from a bank account, knowing it is lost or stolen, then you are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you possess multiple financial devices from multiple people, you can be convicted of either a Class 5 or a Class 6... Read More

This Colorado law compensates individuals who are wrongly convicted of a crime

Perhaps one of the worst case nightmare scenarios for a person is to be accused, tried and found guilty of a crime they did not commit. Unfortunately, the legal system is far from perfect and it does happen on a regular basis. Sometimes, a person is forced to serve out their sentence with no hope of seeing a ruling overturned. Other times, new evidence comes to light, a witness changes their mind, or any number of things can change within the system to prove a person’s innocence. Recognizing the trauma this can cause for an individual, in 2013, Colorado passed the Compensation for Persons Wrongly Convicted law. The state joined just over half the other states in the U.S. that now have compensation statutes for those who have been wrongfully convicted. The statute allows a person who has been wrongly incarcerated to receive $70,000 for every year they were in prison. They will also receive an additional $50,000 per year for each year of incarceration they served under a sentence of execution. The statute also allows for payments of $25,000 per year for every year a person served on parole or as a registered sex offender. The only stipulation is that a person who is wrongly convicted must not have pled guilty to avoid prosecution in another case where they may not actually be innocent. The other thing to note is that compensation is not automatic. It could take a person weeks to be approved for payments and several additional... Read More