If existing laws in Colorado are being broken, what makes the Colorado law makers think that adding more of them will make a difference? When lawmakers see a newsworthy crime in Denver, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Larimer, or Weld County, their first reaction is that laws are not harsh enough. It seems they like to appear busy addressing society's problems, with an eye toward re-election.
This is the case for many sex offender laws in Colorado. The public is outraged, and rightfully so, when a heinous sex offense is committed. Hindsight is 20/20, so lawmakers go back and see the potential loopholes that supposedly allowed a sex offense like Incest (CRS 18-6-302), or Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-3-405.4) to occur. They tighten the laws to the extent that many smaller offenses or incidents in Denver, Littleton, Lakewood, or Broomfield are now classified as sex offenses.
For example, many people probably do not realize they can be charged with a sex offense for public urination. According to CRS 18-7-302, public urination may fall under the Indecent Exposure statue, and be classified as a sex offense. Many minors or juvenile teens may not know or may not care that “sexting” is a sex offense. The sender and receiver of those sexted pictures are at risk for being charged with a certain sex offense called Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-6-403). Lawmakers decide to charge people with serious sex crime charges because of very broad definitions in the law that do not distinguish between offenses. Over-broad is always safer for a politician's re-election.
Any crime that is classified as a sex offense becomes subject to a different category of sentencing in Colorado. People convicted of sex crimes must successfully complete mandatory therapy that is supervised by the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB), and will be subject to indeterminate sentencing. After they successfully complete their therapy, they may be released, but must register as a sex offender.
These sentencing provisions are unique to sex offenders. Colorado lawmakers do not require a person convicted of any other crime to complete such strict therapy. They do not require them to face the possibility of life in prison with an indeterminate sentence. They do not require them to register and announce to the community that they have offended the law. People convicted or who have taken a plea to any other crime serve their time and move on. Not sex offenders.
If police accuse you of sex offense charges, or the district attorney has pressed sex crime charges against you, be smart. Exercise your right to remain silent and contact experienced criminal defense lawyers at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.