When you hear the words, “sexually violent predator” – a distinct image comes to mind: Images of an evil man lurking in the shadows and nabbing unsuspecting children as they walk to school. This is a generality and is unfair to people who have been labeled unjustly. Violence doesn’t actually have to occur in Denver, Adams or Arapahoe County in order for a person to be labeled as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP). The consequences of such a label are life-changing.
What is a Sexually Violent Predator?
In order to be classified as an SVP, a person must meet certain criteria:
- They must be 18 years old or above.
- They must have committed a certain sex offense (Sexual Assault – C.R.S. 18-3-402, Unlawful Sexual Contact – C.R.S. 18-3-404 (1.5), and Sexual Assault on a Child – C.R.S. 18-3-405).
- The alleged victim in the case must be a stranger.
- Or, the primary purpose of meeting the alleged victim was to victimize them sexually.
- Someone who is likely to commit a subsequent sex offense, following a risk assessment evaluation of the harsh Colorado Sex Offender Management Board.
What are the Consequences of Being Labeled as an SVP?
Unlike a few other sex offenses, an offender with the label of SVP can never petition the court to deregister as a sex offender. Also, every time an SVP moves, the surrounding community is notified via social media and community bulletins. Often, Aurora, Littleton and Highlands Ranch police officers hold meetings to discuss an SVP moving into their area. Also, SVP’s are often ostracized in their community. In a recent article in the Coloradoan, an SVP relates some of the ways in which he is disliked in his community: A meeting was held when he decided to move to the neighborhood (100 people attended) – now, cars drive slowly by his house as neighbors stare. When he walks his dog, he drives to a different area. This man’s crime was sexual assault on a child – a consensual relationship with a young teenager. Now, his life is greatly changed – he says that he doesn’t even date because any woman he dated would be burdened by his label.
You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Defend You
Being labeled as an SVP has the potential to ruin your life. Don’t try to defend yourself on your own. Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a thorough grasp of criminal law relating to sex offenses. The law in Colorado regarding sexual crimes is confusing and the consequences of a conviction are life-altering. Many sex offenses result in an indeterminate sentence to the Colorado Department of Corrections – you could spend the rest of your life in prison.