September 28, 2023
Being charged with a sex crime is a scary proposition. After all, it can have a lasting impact on your life if you are labeled as a sex offender. But there is actually a state label that can be far more damaging than that: “Sexually violent predator.”
It’s important to understand what a sexually violent predator is under Colorado state law and what it can mean for your future if you find your name attached to it.
Here is what you need to know about sexually violent predators in Colorado, including what it takes to be labeled as one and the penalties associated with it.
What is a Colorado Sexually Violent Predator?
In Colorado, sexually violent predators are a class of registered sex offenders. However, they are considered to be a group at higher risk than other sex offenders, because they have committed more serious crimes.
In order to be labeled a sexually violent predator, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- At the time the sex offense took place, they must have been at least 18 or were juveniles that were prosecuted as adults
- The victim was someone that the perpetrator either didn’t know or formed a relationship with for the express purpose of victimization
- An assessment shows that the perpetrator is likely to reoffend
They were convicted of one of these offenses – or the conspiracy or attempt to commit one of these offenses:
- Unlawful sexual contact
- Sexual assault
- Sexual assault on a child
- Second degree sexual assault
- Sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust
You can be labeled as a sexually violent predator regardless of whether you were convicted at trial or took a plea bargain.
Registration as a Sexually Violent Predator in Colorado
If you are labeled a sexually violent predator by the state, then you must register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Additionally, you will be required to update your personal information with law enforcement every three months. This includes information such as online identities you may have, where you work, and where you live.
Every time you move, or if your name is ever legally changed, you must also update that information with the Sheriff’s office. If you attend college or work at one, then re-registration is required whenever you change your work status, begin working or studying, or change locations at the institution.
What Information Is Public?
Those labeled as sexually violent predators will have certain information available to the public through Colorado’s Sex Registry. The information includes:
- Your name
- Your birthdate
- Your gender
- Your address
- Your height/weight
- Your race
- Your hair color
- Your eye color
- Any identifying marks, such as scars or tattoos
- The crimes you’ve been convicted of and on what date you were convicted
- Any details of predatory habits you may have
- Whether or not you failed to register
What Happens If You Don’t Register?
If you are declared a sexually violent predator and you do not register, then that is a Class 6 felony – an offense separate from any sex crimes. That carries with it the penalty of up to 18 months in prison and fines of as much as $100,000. The online sex registry will also carry this conviction for the public to see, as well as law enforcement.
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.