Sex Offender Registration in Colorado
Registration as a sexual offender is a very serious designation; one that will have a tremendous impact on a person’s ability to work, live, and socialize for the rest of his or her life. The registration follows people wherever they go, as they will be entered into a national database that is publically accessible anywhere in the United States.
Because of the stigma associated with sex crimes, the judicial system does not always operate fairly and adequately. An accusation is sometimes all it takes to bring charges against someone, and sex crimes are among the most aggressively prosecuted and punished crimes in Colorado. Those accused of a crime that is sexual in nature, including pornography, can face steep fines and long prison sentences. You’re also likely to suffer a ruined reputation and other consequences, both personal and professional, and one of those is registration as a sexual offender.
This registration guarantees that the stigma of a sex crime conviction will stay with you for the rest of your life. If you have been accused of a sex crime, you will likely be frightened, overwhelmed, and confused. Your first instinct may be to delay consulting a lawyer, as you might worry this will make you look guilty. However, the seriousness of the charge makes it critical that you defend yourself from the moment you are accused. Contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., at (719) 475-2555 for a free consultation with an experienced Colorado Springs defense attorney.
In general, registration as a sexual offender lasts your entire lifetime. However, with good behavior, you may be able to petition to discontinue your name on the registry after a designated length of time (CRS § 16-22-113). This also applies to juveniles who have been convicted of sex crimes. In Colorado, you may petition after:
- 20 years: For a Class 1, 2, or 3 Felony
- 10 years: For a Class 4, 5, or 6 Felony/Class 1 Misdemeanor/Third-Degree Sexual Assault
- 5 years: For a Misdemeanor other than Class 1
- Completion/discharge from juvenile sentence/disposition: For offenders who were under 18 at the time of the offense
Note that you are NEVER automatically removed from the list, even after you’ve served your sentence!
The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), established in 2005, provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide. Every sexual offender across the country is listed on it. The NSOPW is a comprehensive partnership involving the U.S. Department of Justice and state, territorial, and tribal governments.
The NSOPW is the only government website that links public state, territorial, and tribal sex offender registries to form a searchable database available to the public. As their website states: “Parents, employers, and other concerned residents can utilize the Website’s search tool to identify location information on sex offenders residing, working, and attending school not only in their own neighborhoods but in other nearby states and communities.”
The advanced search tools allow users to do the following:
- Search by name nationally or within an individual jurisdiction
- Search by address
- Search by zip code
- Search by county
- Search by city/town
Once you are on the registry, there is no escaping it. It doesn’t matter if you were falsely accused, were a minor at the time of the infraction, or if the crime was unfairly classified as a sex crime.
Any of the following can meet the legal standard to be considered a sex crime:
- Sexual assault;
- Sexual assault on a child;
- Unlawful sexual contact;
- Internet sexual exploitation of a child;
- Date rape;
- Child pornography;
- Internet pornography;
- Indecent exposure; and
Many sex crime accusations are fabricated. If you find yourself in such a situation, your future depends on the steps you take right now. The best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Colorado Springs sex crime attorney who can immediately get to work gathering evidence and mounting a defense on your behalf.
Being accused of a sex crime can be traumatic, but taking immediate action is necessary to protect your legal rights. The legal team at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., has years of expertise when it comes to advocating on behalf of our clients. Contact us today at (719) 475-2555 and schedule a free consultation.