In many states, with every New Year comes new laws, and Colorado is no exception.
While Colorado lawmakers have enacted several laws that go into effect this year, here are four in particular that may impact Coloradans:
- Home marijuana growers: While the previous law typically allowed each person to cultivate up to six marijuana plants, certain provisions in the medical marijuana code permitted some individuals to have many more — in some cases more than 90 plants. However, House Bill 17-1220 has now set a limit of only 12 plants per residential property (although some limited exceptions to this rule may still exist).
- Hit-and-run accidents: Also starting in 2018, the Department of Revenue now has the authority under House Bill 17-1277 to suspend the license of any driver who leaves the scene of an accident that causes serious injury or death. However, there must be proof by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the driver was involved in the accident and failed to immediately stop or return to the scene.
- Timely court hearings: Another new Colorado law this year requires timely court hearings for anyone sitting in a local jail on a municipal hold, which often involves small charges. While in the past some defendants have had to wait several days to go to court in such instances, under the new law they must get a court hearing within two days of the court being notified that the person is being held.
- Teen sexting: Under previous Colorado law, teens could face felony charges if they were caught sexting. Under the new law, the consequences for teen sexting are lessened, with prosecutors now being able to bring misdemeanor charges instead of felony. In addition, these teens will usually avoid having to register as sex offenders. However, the specifics of this new law are quite complex, which is why you should talk to an attorney should you have any questions.
It is important to remember, however, that these are merely a few of the many new laws going into effect in Colorado this year. If you find yourself unknowingly on the wrong side of these laws, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.