Sex Crime Law in Colorado
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What Is a Sex Crime?
A sex crime is any crime involving any form of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, unlawful sexual behavior, or illegal pornography. Colorado categorizes sex crimes into several different categories:
- Crimes that do not require sex offender registration
- Crimes that do require sex offender registration
- Crimes that require lifetime supervision
- Crimes that do not require lifetime supervision
- Crimes that can result in indeterminate sentencing, meaning that if a judge thinks that the defendant cannot or has not been re-habilitated, the judge can sentence the defendant to jail for however long it takes, even life.
How Does Sex Offender Registration Work in Colorado?
In Colorado, both adults and even juveniles are required to register if convicted of a sex crime. Offenders that come from other states must also register in Colorado if they were convicted for a crime that would constitute a sex crime in Colorado. Sex offenders must provide law enforcement with their personal information, including fingerprints, photos, address, place of employment or school attended, registered vehicles, etc.
All sex offenders must re-register annually on their birthday, however those classified as a sexually violent predator must re-register every 90 days. In addition, those convicted of a sex crime involving a child must register all email addresses and online aliases before being allowed to use those email addresses or online aliases.
Sex offenders must notify police within 5 days whenever they move to a different Colorado county. The Colorado public can access all available data on registered sex offenders at their local police station, however the online registry only lists information on sexually violent predators, multiple offenders, offenders who have been convicted of a felony sex offense, and offenders who have a history of failing to register with their local law enforcement agency.
Can I Have My Criminal Record Sealed?
In Colorado, if you have been convicted of a sex crime and have registered on the online registry, it is possible to become eligible to petition the court to remove you from the registry. In general, depending on what class of felony you had been convicted of, you can petition for removal from the registry after 20 years. If convicted of a lesser felony, or a serious misdemeanor, you can petition for removal after 10 years. For those with a lesser misdemeanor sex offense conviction, it is possible to petition after 5 years.
Additionally, depending on whether or not you meet the necessary criteria, you may be able to seal your criminal records, otherwise known as expungement. Eligibility for expungement varies from state to state, but if you only committed a minor sex crime that did not involve violence, such as indecent exposure, years ago, you might be able to get that record expunged. That prevents everyone, other than law enforcement, from seeing your past criminal history.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you have been charged with a crime it is important that you seek legal assistance immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to defend you in court and give you the best chance of being found not guilty. If you have already been convicted and have served your time for a minor sex crime and no longer wish for that information to show up on your record, you should try to see if you are eligible to petition for removal from the registry. Additionally, you should go to an expungement lawyer to start the process of sealing your criminal record.
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Last Modified: 06-19-2014 10:36 AM PDT
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