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If you are convicted of a sex crime and must register as a sex offender in Colorado, your life will change drastically. Your name and other personal information will be on the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board and you will have to submit to certain restrictions that could have long-lasting consequences on your everyday life.
What does this look like specifically, though?
In this blog post, we will cover what it is like to live as a registered sex offender in our state.
Being placed on the sex offender registry means that your personal information – including your name, photo, address, date of birth, and the offense you were convicted of – will become public knowledge.
This information will be available to anyone with an internet connection, which means that you could face significant harassment in your local community or even online.
In addition to this, registrants are subject to restrictions on where they can live and work. Many states have laws prohibiting sex offenders from living near playgrounds, schools, and other places where children congregate.
Beyond these restrictions on where you can live and work, the stigma of being a registered sex offender can have a negative effect on your life in general.
It can be difficult to find employment and housing, as employers and landlords often view sex offenders unfavorably. Your relationships with family members and friends can also suffer, as people are often uncomfortable around sex offenders.
The bottom line? Even if you have served your time and paid your debt to society, the collateral consequences of being on the sex offender registry can last a lifetime. Failing to register, however, can be even worse.
The Sex Offender Registry Board may also impose other restrictions on your life, such as forbidding you from participating in certain activities or from being in certain places.
For instance, some states have laws prohibiting sex offenders from going to parks or attending public events like school plays. These rules can significantly limit your ability to participate in everyday activities and enjoy the same freedoms as other citizens.
Moreover, being placed on the registry may also mean additional court-ordered requirements that you must follow. These may include attending sex offender treatment classes, submitting to regular check-ins with a probation officer, or refraining from contact with other known offenders.
If you are found to be non-compliant with any of these requirements, you could face additional penalties including jail time.
Finally, if you are convicted of a serious sexual offense, you may be subject to civil commitment upon the completion of your prison sentence. This means that you will be placed in a secure treatment facility and required to receive clinical treatment until it is determined that you are no longer a threat to public safety.
Civil commitment can last for extended periods of time, making it difficult for individuals who have served their criminal sentence to ever be fully reintegrated into society.
As you can see, being convicted of a sexual offense in Colorado can have serious, long-term consequences that could significantly alter your life. Because of this, it is vital that you do your utmost to avoid conviction for a sex crime in the first place.
This means reaching out to a skilled Colorado criminal lawyer as soon as you are arrested to allow them to advocate on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected and that you are building the strongest possible defense strategy from the get-go.
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.