I came across an article the other day that confirmed my experience with sex offender registration laws in Adams, Jefferson, and Denver County. Colorado’s laws make it impossible for sex offenders to reintegrate back into society. Often, people have picked up the pieces after a sex offense conviction, have married and settled into a normal life, only to make a simple mistake and be charged with Failure to Register. In many cases, a misunderstanding about the laws related to registering leads to further charges. Let’s look closer at the story told in the article in order to better understand how unjust sex offender laws are.
Meet Joshua: A Family Man and Registered Sex Offender
Meet Joshua – he is a registered sex offender in Texas. He’s a soft-spoken, articulate man with a wife and children. Joshua’s story is similar to many I hear on a daily basis here in Colorado. He was 12 when he had sexual contact with his little sister – nothing much, just exploratory touching. His mother found out and called a counselor, who reported him. Unbeknownst to his parents, Joshua was simply reacting to a secret he carried: He had been repeatedly raped by three high school kids. Joshua was convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault (in Colorado, this would be Sexual Assault on a Child), and spent the next four years of his live in a juvenile prison. When he was 16, Joshua got out of prison and registered as a sex offender. His life would never be the same. He had a difficult time making friends or keeping a job; every time he would settle in, people would find out he was a registered sex offender and things would get tough. Finally, however, he met and married his wife and life slowed down.
I’ve been a criminal defense attorney for over 25 years and I have to be diligence to understand the complex registration laws.
A Misunderstanding of the Law Leads to Sex Offense Charges
At the time the article was written, Joshua needed to register at the local police department (Texas law requires a person to give notice of a new address within 7 days of moving). In the middle of giving the officer his information, Joshua was approached by another officer, who stated he was going to arrest him. Apparently, Joshua had failed to alert authorities about his new address. He explained he was in the process of doing so, but the officer refused to listen and stated that the law required sex offenders to register 7 days before the move as well as after. What happens to Joshua now? Well, if he lived in Colorado, he would be charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. He would be treated as if he had sexually assaulted a child that day and be charged with a felony. He could face more prison time and be required to register for a longer period of time. All of this for a simple misunderstanding of the complex and confusing laws related to sex offender registration.
Why You Need an Experienced Sex Crimes Defense Attorney in Denver
As an experienced sex crimes lawyer, I meet people like Joshua every day in Arapahoe, Douglas, and El Paso County. People who have worked hard and overcome mistakes in the past, only to be treated like criminals when simple mistakes or misunderstandings are made. I have a thorough knowledge of criminal law – I’ve been a criminal defense attorney for almost 25 years. Even I have to be diligent to follow the complex laws related to registration. It’s as if our justice system is setting people up to fail. If you have been charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands your rights and will fight for your future in court. Don’t give up hope. Contact us for a free consultation today, because we fight to win.