Sealing Criminal Records

The Colorado legislature revised the statute allowing individuals with certain criminal records to seal those records in limited circumstances. Contact HH&G if you have questions about sealing criminal records. 

Authenticating Emails

As a matter of first impression, a division of the Colorado Court of Appeals addressed the requirements to properly authenticate an email under Rule 901 of the Colorado Rules of Evidence. The court held an email may be authenticated: (1) through testimony explaining that they are what they purport to be, see CRE 901(b)(1); or (2) through consideration of distinctive characteristics shown by an examination of their contents and substance in light of the circumstances of the case.

In Bernard, the court found the prosecution properly authenticated the email admitted against the defendant when it: (1) showed the victim a hard copy of the email; (2) she identified it as a true and accurate copy of the email Mr. Barnard sent to her; (3) she indicated the date/time she received it; and (4) she recognized the sender's email address as one that belonged to Mr. Barnard.  The email also indicated the sender's knowledge of defendant's prior relationship with the victim and that the victim would be testifying on the day of trial.

Appellate courts review evidentiary rulings, including foundation and authentication for abuse of discretion.  See People v. Ibarra, 849 P.2d 33, 38 (Colo. 1993); People v. Huehn, 53 P.3d 733, 736 (Colo. App. 2002).

People v. Barnard