Nelson v. Colorado, 581 U.S. ___, 137 S. Ct. 1249 (Apr. 19, 2017)

The Court held that when a criminal conviction is invalidated by a reviewing court and no retrial will occur, is the State obliged to refund fees, court costs, and restitution exacted from the defendant upon, and as a consequence of, the conviction. Absent conviction of a crime, one is presumed innocent. Under the Colorado law in question, the State retains conviction-related assessments unless and until the prevailing defendant institutes a discrete civil proceeding and proves her innocence by clear and convincing evidence. The Court held that this scheme offends the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of due process. It concluded: “To comport with due process, a State may not impose anything more than minimal procedures on the refund of exactions dependent upon a conviction subsequently invalidated.”