December 9, 2023
The requirement to register as a sex offender is one of the penalties for being found guilty of certain crimes. You may not think it’s a big deal, but registration as a sex offender is taken very seriously by the state – so seriously that failing to do so can land you in serious trouble.
Here’s what you need to know about sex offender registration in Colorado and what can happen if you fail to register as required by the court. Read on to find out all you need to know.
What Is Sex Offender Registration?
In Colorado, those who are convicted of certain sex crimes will be required to register as sex offenders. Depending on the crime, some will be required to register every quarter with local law enforcement, while others may only have to register once per year. You must provide personal information such as:
- Your name
- Birth date
- Hair color
- Online aliases
- Place of employment
It is also illegal to provide false information to law enforcement as a part of your registration. Doing so may result in yet another criminal charge for you.
How Long Do You Have to Register as a Sex Offender?
How long you are required to register depends on the class of crime of which you were convicted. It breaks down to:
Most Serious Felonies
If you were convicted of Class 1, 2, or 3 sex crimes, then you will have to register as a sex offender for a period of 20 years.
More Serious Felonies or Class 1 Misdemeanor Unlawful Sexual Contact or Third Degree Sexual Assault
For classes of felonies 4,5, and 6, and this particular misdemeanor, you will be required to register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
Except for unlawful sexual contact, Class 1 misdemeanors require you to register as a sex offender for five years.
Sex Offenses Involving Minors
In most cases, sex offenses involving minors will require lifetime registration as a sex offender.
There are other scenarios where you only have to register as a sex offender while you are on deferred judgment – for example, if you were under 18 when the crime was committed.
Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
If you are ordered by the court to register as a sex offender, and you fail to do so, then you can face additional charges on top of the sex crimes for which you’ve already been convicted.
For those found guilty of a misdemeanor sex offense who fail to register, you can face an additional Class 1 misdemeanor. That can result in up to 18 months in jail and fines of as much as $5,000.
If you’re convicted of a felony sex crime and fail to register, then you can face an additional Class 6 felony. That can result in up to two years in prison, as well as fines of as much as $100,000.
If you are being accused of failing to register as a sex offender, it’s not something to take lightly. It can result in real penalties that only serve to further complicate your life. That’s why you need to make sure to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help make clear the case against you and your rights in it.
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 recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.