Accordingly, the period within which a prosecution for theft against an at-risk adult must be commenced does not begin to run until the time the victim discovers the criminal act. The theft from an at-risk adult statute specifically states that Mckinney purpose is to prescribe greater penalties for thefts against at-risk adults. An at-risk adult is "any person who is sixty years of age or older or any person who is eighteen years of age or older and is a person with a disability.
LaFave, Jerold H. The discovery tolling provision does not apply to crimes such as assault, kidnapping, or robbery, which, by their nature, cannot remain undiscovered by the victim for extended periods of time. Because the discovery tolling provision of the statute of limitations, section 4. Battle Mountain Corp. Within Article laws. People, 48 P. If the plain language of the statutes clearly expresses the legislative intent, we must give effect to the ordinary meaning of the statutory language. During the course of finalizing her plea, she prepared a written statement implicating her husband in the thefts.
However, the General Assembly has specified numerous crimes for dating the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the criminal act is discovered. The goal of the discovery tolling provision is to extend the limitations period for crimes that are susceptible to remaining undetected for extended for of time, so that prosecution of such crimes will not be foreclosed as a result of concealment. We therefore conclude that the General Assembly intended the discovery tolling provision of the statute of limitations, section 4. Inthe General Assembly enacted the at-risk adult provisions of sections Laws, ch.
Proof of the factors in the adult at-risk provision of section Leske, P. The discovery tolling provision clearly applies to "theft, pursuant to section Theft against an at-risk adult enhances a general theft crime. It affirmed McKinney's convictions for general theft and conspiracy, but reversed the three convictions for theft from an at-risk adult.
The General Assembly defined two of victims that qualify for this heightened protection: at-risk adults and at-risk juveniles. The court of appeals held that the discovery tolling provision of the statute of limitations does not apply to someone against at-risk adults and, therefore, the prosecution for those charges was time-barred because more than three years had elapsed since the time the criminal acts took place.
Two victims were over the age of sixty, and the third was an adult formerly adjudged to be mentally incapacitated as a result of a head injury. Whitaker v. While the at-risk adults provision was still part of the general theft statute, the General Assembly, inamended the discovery tolling provision to apply to "theft, pursuant to section The amendment did not contain any words of limitation to exclude any subsections of the general theft statute. The charges against McKinney proceeded to trial. The discovery tolling provision initially applied only to offenses relating to the Uniform Commercial Code.
We hold that theft from an at-risk adult is an enhanced form of general theft. To conclude otherwise would defeat the legislature's intent to protect this vulnerable group of citizens against concealed crimes, contrary to evident legislative policy choices. They serve these purposes: 1 to protect individuals from defending themselves against stale charges; 2 to prevent punishment for acts committed in the remote past; and 3 to insure that accuseds are informed of the decision to prosecute and the general nature of charges with sufficient promptness to allow them to prepare their defenses before evidence of their innocence is weakened by age.
When construing the statutes at issue in this case, our fundamental responsibility is to determine and give effect to the General Assembly's intent in enacting the statutes. Travelers Indem.
Over the following several months, Mrs. All three victims were "at-risk adults" under Colorado law. McKinney took the money on the premise that he would invest it for his clients, but instead used the money for his own personal purposes. Higgins v. The general theft sentences were imposed to run consecutively, and the remaining four sentences were imposed to run concurrently with each other and with the general theft sentences.
McKinney, 80 P. The trial court sentenced McKinney to a total of twelve years in the Department of Corrections. The crimes enumerated in the discovery tolling provision of the statute of limitations are similar in that they share the quality of being susceptible to concealment from the victim. Inthe General Assembly amended the discovery tolling provision to expand the of crimes included under the statute.
Therefore, to prove that a defendant has committed theft from an at-risk adult, the prosecution must first prove that the defendant has committed general theft. Whether the discovery tolling provision of the statute of limitations applies to thefts committed against at-risk adults is a question of law that we review de novo.
Because of the increased vulnerability of such victims, the "penalties for specified crimes committed against at-risk adults Instead of defining the crime and listing its elements, the at-risk adult statute references the general theft statute's definition of the crime. McKinney and his wife then persuaded the client to cash in the annuity and deposit the money in two bank s: one-half into a t savings in the names of Mrs. McKinney and the client, and one-half into a checking in the name of Mrs. McKinney alone.
The trial court denied the motion. Criminal statutes of limitation prescribe the time period within which the prosecution must commence an action on a claim.
People v. mckinney
The crimes added by the amendment share the quality of being crimes of deception that are capable of being concealed from the victim. Upon agreement of the parties, the trial court deferred ruling on the motion until the end of McKinney's trial. The statute of limitations tolling provision encompasses theft against an at-risk adult.
We disagree with the court of appeals and reverse. Thus, the broad reference to the general theft statute in the amendment included thefts that are punished more severely because the victim is at least sixty years old. McKinney received a total sentence of twelve years. Passamano v. The court therefore concluded that the statute of limitations barred prosecution of the charges for theft from an at-risk adult because the charges were filed more than three years from when the criminal acts took place.
In its legislative declaration to the consolidated at-risk adult provisions, the General Assembly declared that at-risk adults are "more vulnerable to and disproportionately damaged by crime" and are "far more susceptible than the general population to the adverse long-term effects of crimes committed against them. For example, a prosecution for most felonies must commence within three years from the commission of the crime.
See, e. He sold insurance, annuities, and other investment products. The jury convicted McKinney of all seven remaining charges. The court of appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, leaving the twelve-year sentence intact. David S. We granted certiorari in this case to review the court of appeals decision in People v. On December 4,both Mr. McKinney pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft and received a sentence of probation. The General Assembly explained that at-risk victims are less likely to fully recover from crimes committed against them, and a ificant of at-risk victims are "not as physically or emotionally equipped to protect themselves or aid in their own security as non-at-risk adults and non-at-risk juveniles in society.
Instead, it refers back to the general theft statute by cross referencing that statute.
People, P. The limitations period for most crimes begins to run at the time that the criminal act takes place. At the conclusion of the prosecution's case, McKinney renewed his motion to dismiss all of the charges. The court of appeals held that the discovery tolling provision of the statute of limitations-which tolls the running of the limitation period until the victim discovers the crime-is not applicable to thefts against at-risk adults.
Section This section thus imposes a more severe punishment for the commission of theft against at-risk adults as compared to the commission of theft against other victims, but it does not list elements that constitute the commission of theft against an at-risk adult. This conclusion is consistent with the history of the discovery tolling provision and the theft against an at-risk adult provision.
It concluded that the evidence adduced at trial showed that the "date of discovery as to all of these matters was within the statute of limitations period. In the legislative declaration to Article 6. In determining the scope and intent of a statute, the best guide is often the legislative declaration of policy.
McKinney appealed all seven convictions to the court of appeals. At the time the criminal acts at issue in this case took place, Daniel McKinney owned an insurance agency.
As a consequence, the theft against at-risk adults provision does not apply unless a defendant's conduct constitutes theft under the general theft statute. McKinney filed a pre-trial motion requesting the trial court to dismiss all of the charges filed against him on the ground that they were filed more than three years after the commission of the crimes and were beyond the three-year statute of limitations.
Because we conclude that the discovery tolling provision applies to theft against an at-risk adult, we reverse the court of appeals. When interpreting statutes, we adopt the statutory construction that best effectuates the legislative intent and de.
Inthe General Assembly chose to strike the repetitive at-risk adults provision of the general theft statute, section 7in favor of section When it made this decision, the General Assembly did not intend to exclude thefts committed against at-risk adults from the discovery tolling provision. Indeed, without the discovery tolling provision, our Criminal Code would provide surreptitious defendants a windfall for successfully concealing criminal conduct from their victims, contrary to the General Assembly's intent.
The Colorado Criminal Code contains an entire article dedicated to wrongs committed against at-risk adults. Accordingly, it is immaterial that the discovery tolling provision does not expressly include or exclude thefts committed against at-risk adults. Mortgage Invs. However, because section Because of the discovery tolling provision, the opportunity to prosecute the commission of certain crimes will not be foreclosed by criminal conduct that remains undetected for extended periods of time. The discovery tolling provision applies to enumerated crimes, which include theft, criminal impersonation, offenses relating to perjury, unlawful concealment of transactions, and embezzlement or misapplication of funds.