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Busted for pot before it was legal? This Colorado law is for you.

Earlier this week, several new Colorado laws went into effect, including the new felony DUI law that requires jail time for certain repeat offenders. While this new DUI law is certainly important — which is why we talked about it on Wednesday — there is actually another law that went into effect that is good news for anyone convicted of marijuana possession before the drug became legal under state law.

This new law — previously known as House Bill 17-1266 — will allow those convicted of misdemeanor level offenses related to marijuana use or possession to have their criminal records for these offenses sealed, but only if they meet the following criteria:

  • The individual must file a petition with the district court in the district in which the criminal record exists
  • The individual must pay all required filing fees
  • The individual must establish by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the marijuana-related offense he or she is trying to seal would not have been a criminal offense had it occurred after December 10, 2012, the day Amendment 64 officially became a part of the Colorado constitution
  • The petition filed by the individual has been posted on the State Court Administrator’s website, and at least 30 days have passed since it was posted

While jumping through these hoops may be an inconvenience, a sealed criminal record can make a person’s life a lot easier, especially when you consider how any criminal record can haunt a person for years — often making it harder to find a job or housing. Simply put, this new law will give many a fresh start.

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