Sexual Offender Registration
Sex offender registration is required in cases where a defendant is convicted of a sex offense. It is a very important component to the many penalties that convicted sex offenders face in the Colorado criminal justice system. Registration can obviously have a substantial impact on a persons ability to find and maintain employment and housing, and may substantially affect other areas of the sex offenders life.
Convicted sex offenders are required to register with the Colorado county they live in. They must do this annually for as long as their sentence
requires them to do so. Registrants are required to register within 5 days of their birthday. The registrant’s information, including name, address, physical description, and photo (in some cases) may be displayed on the sex offender registration website.
Removal From The Registry
An offender can petition to be removed from the sex offender registry, but it is only allowed if certain requirements are met. If a person committed a class 1, 2, or 3 felony, they are eligible to file for removal from the registry after a period of 20 years from the date they are released from prison, or probation. If the offender was convicted of a class 4, 5, or 6 felony, or misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact, the offender is eligible to file for removal after 10 years from the release date from prison or probation. Finally, a person can petition for removal after 5 years following their sentence discharge if they were convicted of any other misdemeanor involving unlawful sexual behavior. Note that these timelines allow only for the offender to petition for removal. A judge may deny removal for a variety of reasons, depending on the circumstances involved.
Juvenile Sex Offenders
Juvenile sex offenders may also have to register, although the general public will be limited to what they can learn about such an offender. First of all, specific information about a juvenile sex offender, such as their name and physical identifying information is not available online. A person seeking such information must pay the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, or their local law enforcement agency for this information. However, if a juvenile sex offender is living at a specific address, this information can be searchable online. Juveniles also have an easier time getting off the registry as more time passes.
Failure To Register
Failure to Register as a sex offender is an independent criminal charge and is very serious. People are exposed to this charge regardless of the offender’s best intentions, such as a mistaken belief of whether or when the offender thought he/she needed to register. While not in and of itself a sex offense, it is a felony charge that can lead to prison, or further sex offender treatment while on probation. A conviction for failure to register will also ensure that the offender will never get off the sex offense registry.
Offenders convicted of sex offenses in other states must register in Colorado in a manner consistent with the offenses in Colorado. For example, if a person was convicted in Ohio of indecent exposure and moved to Colorado, he would have to register in a manner as if he was convicted of indecent exposure in Colorado. It would not matter if Ohio law was more favorable with registration requirements than Colorado.
Sex offender registration is a very intrusive penalty in sex offense cases. You need a good lawyer to assist you in navigating the statutes and legal nuances involved. If you or a loved one are charged with a sex offense, or have questions about registration, give us a call.