Theft Of Medical Records in Colorado

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Statute for 18 – 4 – 412 – Theft Of Medical Records

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-4-412. Theft of medical records or medical information – penalty

(1) Any person who, without proper authorization, knowingly obtains a medical record or medical information with the intent to appropriate the medical record or medical information to his own use or to the use of another, who steals or discloses to an unauthorized person a medical record or medical information, or who, without authority, makes or causes to be made a copy of a medical record or medical information commits theft of a medical record or medical information.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) “Medical record” means the written or graphic documentation, sound recording, or computer record pertaining to medical, mental health, and health care services, including medical marijuana services, performed at the direction of a physician or other licensed health care provider on behalf of a patient by physicians, dentists, nurses, service providers, emergency medical service providers, mental health professionals, prehospital providers, or other health care personnel. “Medical record” includes such diagnostic documentation as X rays, electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms, and other test results. “Medical record” includes data entered into the prescription drug monitoring program under section 12-42.5-403, C.R.S.

(b) “Medical information” means any information contained in the medical record or any information pertaining to the medical, mental health, and health care services performed at the direction of a physician or other licensed health care provider which is protected by the physician-patient privilege established by section 13-90-107 (1) (d), C.R.S.

(c) “Proper authorization” means:

(I) A written authorization signed by the patient or his or her duly designated representative; or

(II) An appropriate order of court; or

(III) Authorized possession pursuant to law or regulation for claims processing, possession for medical audit or quality assurance purposes, possession by a consulting physician to the patient, or possession by hospital personnel for record-keeping and billing purposes; or

(IV) Authorized possession pursuant to section 18-3-415.5, 18-7-201.5, 18-7-205.5, 25-1-122, or 30-10-606 (6), C.R.S.; or

(V) Authorized possession by a law enforcement officer or agency, acting in official capacity and pursuant to an official investigation.

(d) “Copy” means any facsimile, replica, photograph, sound recording, magnetic or electronic recording, or other reproduction of a medical record and any note, drawing, or sketch made of or from a medical record.

(3) Theft of a medical record or medical information is a class 6 felony.

(4) The obtaining, accessing, use, or disclosure of relevant medical records or medical information pursuant to 18 U.S.C. sec. 922 (t) and sections 24-33.5-424, 13-5-142, and 13-9-123, C.R.S., by the Colorado bureau of investigation, the clerk of the court of any judicial district in the state, the clerk of the probate court of the city and county of Denver, or by any of their employees and accessing such records and information through the NICS system shall not constitute theft of a medical record or medical information under this section.

(5) This section shall not apply to covered entities, their business associates, or health oversight agencies as each is defined in the federal “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996” as amended by the federal “Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act” and the respective implementing regulations.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.

Colorado Penalties for Theft Of Medical Records


The charge of Theft Of Medical Records, is categorized as a:


Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a CO Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your CO Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Theft Of Medical Records below. These will be adapted by your CO Attorney for your case.

The elements of the crime of theft of medical records are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. knowingly, 4. [obtained [a medical record] [medical information], 5. knowing (s)he did not have proper authorization, 6. with intent to appropriate the [medical record] [medical information], 7. to his own use or to the use of another.] -or- 4. [knowingly [stole] [disclosed to an unauthorized person], 5. [a medical record] [medical information].] -or- 4. [knowing (s)he did not have authority, 5. made or caused to be made, 6. a copy of [a medical record] [medical information].] [6., 7. or 8. without the affirmative defense in instruction number __________.] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of theft of medical records. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of theft of medical records. NOTES ON USE Delete inapplicable bracketed material. When this instruction is used, definitions of ?knowingly?, ?with intent?, “copy”, “medical record”, “medical information”, “proper authorization” should be given where appropriate.

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Theft Of Medical Records.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca