Among the more interesting bills being considered by the Senate this term is Senate Bill 11-044. That bill acknowledges that the collateral consequences of a guilty plea and corresponding conviction in a criminal case can be far-reaching and severe, and that should they not be addressed the risk of recidivism is heightened.
The bill creates a process for persons to seek relief from those collateral consequences – which can include the loss of employment opportunities, housing, etc. The bill would require the state public defender to identify and publish a collection of the collateral consequences that are possible in Colorado, which will later be published on the state judicial website. At a defendant’s first court appearance, the court will inform the defendant about the possible collateral consequences of a conviction – something that is not required of the court of of the defense attorney right now.
Additionally, the bill would permit a defendant to petition the court for relief from the collateral consequences of a conviction or for restoration of rights.