Colorado Rights Blog

SB13-122: Criminal Defendant’s Rights Tax Cases

Bill Number: SB13-122
Year: 2013
ACLU Position: Active Amend
Sponsors: Lambert


The bill creates a new part for criminal defendant's rights that includes requiring:

  • The prosecution to provide all discovery documents to thedefendant at no cost to the defendant;
  • The prosecution to provide all discovery in its possessionwithin 20 days from the defendant's first appearance and any discovery it receives after that date within 72 hours of the date when the prosecution receives the discovery;
  • The court to provide a written ruling on any motion if thedefendant files a motion at least 10 days prior to the trial date; and
  • The court to hold a hearing on a defendant's motion to dismiss.

The bill states that the statute of limitations on state tax fraud cases begins to run on the date the tax return is due. For tax fraud cases, the case must be tried in the county where the return was filed or delivered and must be prosecuted by the local district attorney.

Under current law certain tax fraud crimes are class 5 felonies. The bill makes those crimes a class 1 misdemeanor if the amount of tax owed is $3,000 or less. For a first offense, the penalty is limited to a fine equal to 25% of the tax owed and up to one year of probation.

The following changes apply only to tax fraud cases. If the United States internal revenue service rules that the defendant has no untaxed federal income for the tax year related to the charges, the court shall dismiss all charges against the defendant with prejudice. If a district attorney is going to charge a person, the district attorney shall notify the person of his or her intent and request that the person surrender to local law enforcement within 24 hours. If the person does not surrender to local law enforcement, the person may be arrested. The court may not set a monetary bond in excess of the amount of tax owed as specified in the charging document excluding interest. If a defendant is acquitted of any tax fraud charge or has a tax fraud charge dismissed by the court or an appellate court, the court shall enter an order for attorney fees and costs and actual damages for the defendant. The district attorney is liable for the attorney fees and costs and actual damages.

If a defendant appeals a tax fraud conviction, all requested transcripts necessary for the appeal shall be delivered to the defendant within 90 days of the defendant's written request. In a tax fraud appeal, the court of appeals or supreme court shall issue its opinion within one year after the defendant files his or her notice of appeal.

The bill creates a civil penalty of $100 for failure to file a state tax return.

Current Status:

03/13/2013 - Senate Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely
02/11/2013 - Senate Committee on Judiciary Lay Over Amended

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