Court decisions on Constitutional rights/issues:
4th Amendment: Police Searches
Carpenter v. United States. In this 2018 decision dealing with cell phones again, the United States Supreme Court holds that law enforcement must first get a search warrant from a judge, in order to obtain cell phone location information history, derived from the cell phone service provider records of tower locations that the phone connected to over a period of time. That location information, and date/time of connection to each tower, had been used to connect a robbery suspect to a string of robberies, based on the proximity of the towers to the robbery locations. The Court held that any person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information of that person’s movement over time, possibly for up to five years based on cell phone service provider record retention policies. Note that with some other already-obtained reasonable evidence linking the suspect to the robberies, law enforcement would be able to get such a search warrant for the cell phone tower records. They just had not gotten a warrant in that case, believing that the records were not private or confidential.
United States v. Jones, January 2012, U.S. Supreme Court:The U.S. Supreme Court held that search warrants are required for law enforcement to secretly put a GPS tracking device on a suspect vehicle.
Marijuana (Amendment 64)
Colorado in 2012 passed a State constitutional amendment attempting to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in Colorado. This is not just for “medical marijuana.” Amendment 64 went into effect on December 10, 2012, but much remains uncertain. Several state laws were passed in 2013 attempting to implement Amendment 64, but how all of this plays out in relation to criminal laws remains to be seen. The new State law still provides for some felony marijuana offenses. Employers can still prohibit employee use of marijuana. Universities can still discipline or expel students based on marijuana use or sale. And marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
New Colorado Laws:
The Colorado legislative branch, referred to as the Colorado State Assembly, meets every year from January through early May.
Laws in the news:
Colorado record sealing law simplified in 2016 and 2017 for sealing deferred sentences and other dismissed cases.
Archived legal news can be found here.