February 21, 2024
Sex crimes are among the worst acts that a person can commit against someone else, both for the victim and for the accused. As anyone who has been found guilty of a sex crime can attest, there are few other crimes that come with such a powerful and damaging stigma. Now, some people in Colorado are arguing that much of that shame and stress comes directly from the “sex offender” label itself.
As reported by NBC, the state regulatory board in Colorado recently voted to uphold the term “sex offender” as it applies to individuals who have been charged with sex crimes, contrary to objections from Colorado’s Coalition for Sex Offense Restoration (CSOR). Representatives from CSOR had argued that the term “sex offender” can potentially ruin a person’s chances at rehabilitation.
What This Means for You
As of today, as far as Colorado’s Sex Offender Management Board is concerned, anyone who has been charged with a sex crime is still considered a sex offender. This can be life-ruining and traumatizing for some people – particularly those whose crimes fell on the less serious end of the crime spectrum.
For instance, an adult who engaged in consensual sex with a minor as a teenager, or a young adult who was tried and found guilty of indecent exposure for urinating in public both still have to live with the stigma of being labeled a sex offender. And if you think you can get the record sealed or expunged, think again. Certain crimes, including all sex offenses, are completely ineligible.
That’s why you have to fight sex crimes charges with the best possible defense. A skilled sex crimes defense attorney can help make sure you never have to worry about the sex offender label or its effects by using every tool available to them to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Without a qualified attorney on your side, however, you could wind up facing some traumatizing and long-lasting effects, including:
Harassment. The national sex crimes registry is public domain and can be viewed by anyone. This means everyone—from your employer to your neighbor to your little cousin—will be able to look up that registry and find your name. Anyone could use that information to taunt or harass you.
Inability to rent an apartment or buy a home. Since anyone can look up your criminal background information if you’re a registered sex offender, this information will show up on a background check and may prevent you from getting the apartment or home that you desire.
Inability to work. For many jobs, background checks are mandatory prior to beginning employment. If you’re registered as a sex offender, this could ruin your chance of securing gainful employment and force you into only positions where background checks aren’t necessary.
Constant suspicion. Since the “sex offender” label follows you wherever you go, you may find yourself being targeted by suspicious security guards and law enforcement officers wherever you go. This is especially true for college students or office professionals—once a security guard or police officer hears about your conviction, it stays with them and they tend to keep their eyes peeled.
Inconvenience. As a registered sex offender in Colorado, you are required to re-register every year on your birthday, which can be humiliating and frustrating. In addition, certain laws may make it nearly impossible for you to carry out simple tasks. For instance, if you’re a parent and your child plays on a little league baseball team, you may need to acquire specific permission from the state just to attend these games.
Being convicted of a sex crime can ruin your chances for a normal life. It can destroy your reputation and brand you with a stigma that may stay with you for the rest of your life.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, contact an experienced sex crimes lawyer right away and fight to keep your name clear.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.