Registering as a sex offender in Denver, Arapahoe, Adams, or Jefferson County has to be one of the harshest ongoing punishments outside of jail or prison in Colorado. Registered sex offenders are required to report to authorities their every action and are extremely limited in vocational and residence choices. For an offense which may have occurred ten or fifteen years ago, this punishment adds a length of difficulty and shame which may not fit the crime. Required sex offender registration is often the punishment upon a conviction of Aggravated Incest (CRS 18-6-301), Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust (CRS 18-3-405.3), or Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-3-405.4).
The laws surrounding Colorado sex offender registration or de-registration in Larimer, Weld, and Douglas County differ than those in other states. If a sex offender committed an offense in another state where it was considered a misdemeanor and moved to Colorado where it was considered a felony, they would be required to be under the Colorado sex offender laws. They must adhere to the statutes and registration requirements imposed upon people who were convicted of that crime in Colorado, even though they committed the crime in a state where the punishment wasn't as harsh. For example, Unlawful Sexual Contact (CRS 18-3-404) can be a misdemeanor or felony in Colorado depending on many factors. This sex crime is unique to Colorado law and is named, treated, and sentenced differently in every state.
Know that Colorado sex offender laws are some of the toughest in the country. If a person is a convicted of a sex crime here, they will be punished more harshly than in other places in the country. Be aware that if someone lives in another state and moves while they are still registered as a sex offender, their required registration will be adjusted to fit Colorado laws. Oftentimes, Colorado laws increase the amount of time that a person must register as a sex offender.
Also know that once your required time of registering as a sex offender is up, you may not just stop registering. You must obtain a court order to deregister. This involves a lawyer filing a petition to deregister and a court hearing. If you do not follow this procedure, you will be charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (CRS 18-3-412.5), which may be either a misdemeanor or felony in Colorado.
If police contact you regarding issues with registering or de-registering as a sex offender in Colorado, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.