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Sex Offenses and Colorado's Indeterminate Sentencing Scheme

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If convicted, a person will return to Court so that he or she can be sentenced by the presiding Judge. Depending on the severity of the sex offense, the individual could face a substantial sentence to the Department of Corrections.

Additionally, he or she will be required, absent highly unusual circumstances, to submit personal identifying information to the Colorado sex offender registry. In the Colorado criminal justice system, persons who have committed a sex offense will likely fall under the purview of an indeterminate sentencing scheme. If you are facing a sex offense charge in Colorado Springs, continue reading to find out how indeterminate sentencing can impact your life.

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Sentencing Schemes in Colorado Springs

Some states in the country utilize a determinate sentencing structure in sex offense cases. Pursuant to a determinate sentencing scheme, an offender who receives a sentence of incarceration will serve, absent extenuating circumstances, the time that is imposed by the Judge. The judge issuing the sentence imposes the length of the punishment pursuant to the applicable sentencing legislation of the respective state. For example, states that have adopted a version of Jessica's law will impose a 25 year sentence upon any person convicted of a sexual assault against children under a certain age. Colorado has not adopted Jessica's law.

How Does Indeterminate Sentencing in Colorado Work?

Colorado has legislated an indeterminate sentencing scheme to address sex offense sentencing. This means that a person convicted faces supervision, via probation or incarceration, for the remainder of his or her natural born life. For example, sexual assault as a class 4 felony could carry a potential penalty of 2 to 6 years to life to be served in the Department of Corrections. This means that if a person is sentenced to a term of 2 years to life to be served at the Department of Corrections that individual will be eligible for parole after serving 2 years. However, there is no mandatory release date for the individual and, if not granted parole, could ultimately serve a life sentence. Alternatively, if a person is sentenced to probation pursuant to an indeterminate sentencing scheme the minimum term of probation is 10 or 20 years depending on the level of offense. Until and unless the sentencing Court terminates the person's probation he or she will remain on probation, potentially for the remainder of his or her natural born life. To read more about Colorado's Indeterminate Sentencing, C.R.S. 18-1.3-1001 through C.R.S. 18-1.3-1012, click here.

We Can Fight for Your Freedom

If you have been charged with a sex offense, you could be facing the prospect of a life sentence. For this reason, you will need an attorney on your side from the start. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can provide you with an experienced Colorado Springs defense lawyer to fight for your freedom. If you wish to speak with us directly, please call our office at (719) 475-2555 today.

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