A Guide to Colorado’s Sex Offender Registry
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
Colorado has harsh sentences for sex crimes. As just one example, in the past offenders convicted for possessing underage pornography have received life sentences.
To put that in perspective, these are non-violent crimes that receive the same sentence as that given to people convicted of murder.
Obviously, these harsh sentences aren’t given to everyone convicted of every sex crime. But each sex crime conviction does come with a lifelong consequence: having to register on Colorado’s very public sex offender registry.
How Does the Sex Offender Registry Work?
You’ve likely heard of the sex offender registry. It is a public list that allows anyone to search and access information about convicted sex offenders in the state of Colorado. Anyone – employers, leasing agents, and citizens all have access to this information.
Not surprisingly, being on this registry can make life a lot tougher in a number of ways. So it is important to know which crimes require sex offender registration:
- Sexual assault or domestic sexual assault
- Sexual abuse or molestation of a child
- Infamous crimes against nature
- Indecent exposure or public sexual indecency
- Possession, production, or distribution of child pornography
- Human trafficking
- Violent crimes with sexual motivation (including kidnapping, aggravated assault, and murder)
Misdemeanor sexual offenses and juveniles who have been convicted of sexual crimes are not listed on Colorado’s public registry, but their records can still be accessed through the local police station.
On the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender search, you can access an offender’s name, date of birth, city of residence (or last known city of residence), and the sexual crimes that he or she committed. In many cases, your sex offender status will also pop up if someone does a quick internet search of your name.
How Will Being on the Registry Affect Your Life?
Colorado requires sex offenders to register after they have been released from prison in the jurisdiction in which they reside. Depending on the crime, offenders must register once every 90 days or once every year. If a sex offender moves, he or she has to reregister. Sex offender registry requires the offender to give up all the information the registry posts online, as well as any online information (aliases, screen names, social media profiles, and so on).
How will this impact you? As mentioned above, the sex offender registry is public knowledge. When any potential employer or private citizen can access your criminal past, it can affect your personal and business relationships in a very negative way. Even if an employer doesn’t outright deny your application because of your criminal past, you can be sure it will act as a huge black mark against you and make other candidates for more likely to get any jobs you are up for.
That being said, Colorado actually allows sex offenders more freedom than most states. In 2013, a judge overturned residency restrictions for sex offenders, hoping this would allow them to more easily integrate back into society. The state is continuing to scale back the restrictions on registrants, especially if they reside in smaller towns. Still, many leasing agents may not approve an application to lease property if they discover that you have been convicted of a sex crime.
And if you fail to register, your problems only get worse. If the offender’s original conviction was a misdemeanor offense, failing to register will result in an additional misdemeanor charge. Offenders who have been convicted of a felony will face additional felony charges if they do not register. A warrant will be publicly issued for your arrest, and you may find yourself in jail.
Bottom line? It is crucial to fight sex offender charges from the get-go with the strongest possible defense. Continually having to register as a sex offender will burden you for the rest of your life. Don’t let that happen. Reach out to an experienced Denver sex crimes lawyer today for a free case evaluation.
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.